Traveling to Taiwan is a glorious experience for anyone who loves food, because as Taiwan was always a cultural melting pot and economic center of Asia, it has brought together a lot of different food traditions – from mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and South East Asia as well as some of the Pacific Islands and Indian fare to the west, Taiwan has a grand mixture of tastes and recipes.
A saying in Taiwan goes: “A snack bar is within three steps of you and a large restaurant within five.”
For a start, in Taiwan you can get every type of local and regional food from China – such as Tianjiang, Beijing, Shandong and southern food such as Sichuanese, Hunanese, Zheijiangan and Guangdong.
Since Taiwan is a multicultural global hub, any tourist there who wants to experience food from back home will find it very easily. From any type of junk food from the USA, to Italian pizza, to Mexican tacos and Spanish fajitas; from halal to kosher everything is available in large quantities.
Local food is largely based on the staples – rice and noodles. These are flavored with natural and fresh flavors, such as fresh meat (pork, beef, chicken) and vegetables. Food that seems exotic to a tourist but that is a delicacy enjoyed by locals are snakes, dogs, spiders, cockroaches, grasshoppers and monkeys. All sorts of seafood are also used and not much is spared unless it is truly toxic.
Another specialty of Taiwanese food is that it is often mixed with medicinal herbs and plants. Thus medicine in Taiwan is most often consumed in this way and it also depends on the season.
Some famous Taiwanese snacks are pearl milk tea (made from tea, milk and sago pearls which are chewy).