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A Gourmet Paradise

Chi fan le mei? Is a common greeting in Taiwan: it means “Have you eaten?” And it shows the importance of food in the local culture. Due to the cultural variety of Taiwan’s population, there is a broad range of tastes and dishes spreading across the island: aboriginal, Hakka, Japanese and Chinese influences from all Chinese provinces as well as the southeast-Asian countries and modern cooking trends are found in immediate neighborhood, and can best be explored on the vivid night markets, where chefs and vendors offer all kinds of delicious snacks. Come and indulge in the abundance of culinary delights, such as steamed pork dumpling (Xiao Longbao), served with soy bean sauce, vinegar, and ginger; stinky tofu (Chou Doufu), a fried, fermented tofu usually served with sweet and sour pickled vegetables; beef noodle soup (niu rou mian) chicken rice (Jirou Fan), rice with braised pork (Lo-Ba-Bung), pig blood cake (huxue gao); and many, many more! Among the drinks, Bubble tea is a famous must-try beverage named after its very chewy tapioca balls; and also shaved ice, heaped with fresh fruit and flavorings, juice, and sweet condensed milk. Seafood is common and popular, too, and is found fresh in many places, from large fish smaller ones, crustaceans, squid, and cuttlefish. The sub-tropical climate allows growing an abundant supply of fruit. Although Taiwan’s agricultural industry makes only a small percentage of the total GDP, its efficiency achieves two to three harvests per year. With increasing consumer awareness and effective control of farming methods, traceable food and eco-labeling have become milestones for quality and consumer safety.