When you sit down to make a travel bucket list there are many temptations that may lure you somewhere.
Whether it’s stunning snow-capped mountain views, crystal clear ocean waters, cultural street fairs, outdoor adventures, or romance that vibrates in the air… there’s always a clear reason someplace speaks to you.
As it turns out, my latest enticement for choosing the next place on my bucket list had less to do with views and more to do with food. What’s up next on the list? Taiwan, simply because the food is literally to die for.
If only I had been hungry enough to book a ticket sooner, I would’ve made a point to go to the 25th Taiwan Culinary Exhibition happening from Aug. 5th-8th at Taipei World Trade Exhibition Center with the theme “Taiwan’s Era of Pure Food.”
The exhibition highlights fine ingredients and the unique flavors of Taiwan. There are a total of six exhibition areas designed to bring out the distinctive aspects of Taiwanese cuisine and educate anyone with a palette about the foods.
So, yes, I have true FOMO about missing out on this quintessential foodie event, but I’ll just order some Taiwanese delivery on Seamless to get me by in the meantime.
While there are plenty of amazing things to keep yourself occupied with in Taiwan, both conventional and unconventional, I’m mostly persuaded by the classic dishes. Did you even know that Taiwan has one of the best street markets in the world? Me either.
In a perfect world I would find a boyfriend who would also like to experience this trip with me, and that way we could taste DOUBLE the food. Otherwise, I’ll just have to go solo and leave it to Snapchat and Instagram to share the experience with.
Thank goodness the food in Taiwan is known to be generally cheap which is a steal for how absolutely mouthwatering it sounds. I’d probably have to do another detox before going just to leave room to try everything (again, would be great if I had a bf for this).
Regardless whether I go paired up or solo, this bucket list item needs a sub-bucket list. Here are the 10 foods I want try straight out of the melting pot that is Taiwanese cuisine:
- Stinky Tofu. Because I’m probably going alone anyways so who cares? This delicacy is apparently unavoidable (that may or may not be because of the smell).
- Broiled Squid. Because it kind of looks like something you’d try on Fear Factor and that kind of makes me like it more. I’ll hope for extra chili + garlic though.
- Red Bean Cake. Because I tried a version of this in Seoul and I want to see which one is better. Which one will feed my Seoul more you think?
- Guabao. Because this looks so much better than a hamburger. Plus, the fluffy wheat bun makes it super Instagram-worthy.
- Mochi. Because who wouldn’t enjoy a glutinous ball of rice? Added bonus: there’s a museum you can go to to learn how to make them!
- Oyster Omelet. Because it was voted the best snack to represent Taiwan. And I’m so curious to find out what eggs, sweet potato, and oysters taste like together.
- Pineapple Cake. Because candied pineapple, of course. Pretty sure that’s all I need to say about that.
- Fried Chicken. Because I’ve seen multiple blogs about it being better than Kentucky’s, and that’s saying something. Colonel Sanders watch out.
- Taiwan’s version of the Chinese ‘bak kut the’. Because it’s slow cooked in Chinese medicine and that sounds interesting in and of itself to try it out.
- Taiwanese breakfast. Because it includes a deep-fried donut wrapped in more carbs. Did I mention I might have to detox before going?
Some foods I’ll probably skip are pork blood cakes, fish balls, coffin bread, and intestine soup. You’d think they’d try to rename some of those things, no? I bet future bae would be daring enough to give them a shot though…
Any who, there are endless delicacies to try in street markets and restaurants that will make your stomach rumble enough to book that plane ticket. But what’s extra special about their cuisine is that it is strongly influenced many neighboring cultures.
At one point, during the half-century of Japanese colonial rule, Japanese-style cooking started to color Taiwanese foods. And when the Republic of China government relocated to Taiwan, Taiwanese cuisine began to incorporate the hometown dishes of people from the various mainland Chinese provinces, ensuing in a still greater diversity.
All of Taiwan’s foods place an emphasis on the ingredients’ original flavors, keeping the main ingredient the star to every dish. While the cuisine has continued to evolve, it has also continued to attract tons of visitors to their night markets and culinary hubs.
And now Seamless is here just in time to help me get through dreaming over these foods until I get the privilege to actually taste them. I’ll enjoy that, while you enjoy all of this.
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Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post for Taiwan Tourism Bureau. All opinions are my own.