Monday, April 16, 2007

Back in the USA

After two weeks in Taiwan, I am home again! It's kind of strange to be back, actually...partly because of jet lag, and at first I was not sure Arrow remembered me. Despite 10 straight days of rain and having to keep track of 13 fifth graders, it was a great trip. I regret that I did not take more photos, but of course I did take a few pictures of food.

I had shao bing you tiao several times at a busy shop near my father's apartment. It is a delicious breakfast very common in Taipei; the you tiao are long fritters sandwiched with shao bing, a kind of flaky pastry cooked on an open fire griddle. So yummy with soy milk!

Making shao bing you tiao
Slicing the dough for you tiao

There are bakeries all over Taipei, each with an enticing buttery aroma and an incredible selection of rolls, buns, sandwiches, and more. Each morning I would try a different kind, like a pineapple bun, which has a crackly crumble topping that resembles a pineapple...or a bun filled with red bean paste, or a pastry with taro root, or a slice of matcha tea many choices, but not enough time to try them all...

Bakery goods in Taipei
Sandwich rolls that resemble sushi!

During this visit I noticed almost every bakery had some kind of black bread, sometimes described as colored with squid ink, other times it was attributed to charcoal...I was intrigued, but hesitant to try it.

Black bread
Does this bread look strange to you?

I also ate many of my favorite fruits of Taiwan, like guava, lian wu, shi ja, little green mangoes, and more...but foolishly forgot to take a photo of the fruit stand. In Taipei there are so many street vendors and little storefronts offering delicious snacks that it is difficult to convey all the yumminess! There wasn't nearly enough time to eat everything I wanted to, but I did eat at a few of my favorites places...shao long bao (dumplings) at Ding Tai Fung, shaved ice with taro, red bean, grass jelly, and pearl tapioca at Eastern Ice Store, and a new discovery, mango shaved ice at Ice Monster. And on my last day I tried a pon de ring doughnut at Mister Donut, a Japanese chain found all over Taipei. I do not know what the flour they're made of is called in English; the doughnut is slightly chewy and light....not like an American doughnut, but I enjoyed it.

Mister Donut
How can one resist?

Since I ate so much during my visit, I didn't bring very many goodies home...just a box of peanut candies, green bean cakes, and dried kumquats.

Snacks from Taiwan
Taste of Taiwan

I'll have to wait until my next visit for more deliciousness...hopefully this time it will be shorter than 10 years between visits!


Anonymous said...

The food looks delicious! I haven't been to Taipei before (except for an unexpected layover), but I've been to HK several times and I *love* the breakfast foods!

snoopyjoanne said...

sigh, you have me drooling! ;P i haven't been to taiwan in way too long. perhaps newt & i will attempt an asia trip (japan, taiwan, HK) next year? i hope so! glad you had a great time!!!

African Kelli said...

How incredible Carol! I can't wait to read more about your adventure. Those photos were excellent.