sightseeing night market culture in taiwan
Though a small island, Taiwan has a lot of "Tu Chan", literally soil/native product, most of which are foods. According to different weather and soil conditions, different regions have different agricultural products, and thus unique “Shao Chi” – small food/snacks that costs 1-3 bucks for each dish in average. A tourist, local or foreign, can find the most delicious Taiwanese food in the sightseeing night market of a specific region from northern to southern Taiwan.
Go to Yunho, Taipei, if you want to taste the best soy milk (sweet or salty, hot and cold); go to Shilin for the best stinky tofu, fried bun, small bun wrapped in large bun, small sausage in large sausage, oyster omelet, and Taiwanese BBQ sausage; go to Huaxi Street for the snake cuisine if you dare; go to Shinchu for the rice noodles, bawan (pork sphere ball), and grain tea; Go to Taichung for the Sun Cake; go to Tainan for the pork knuckles, dandan noodles, oily rice, rice tube pudding, and coffin bread – to name just some. Each place has its special dishes. Whenever people go to other cities or counties around the island, they would definitely buy his/her family and friends these special regional foods. If you go to a specific place without tasting its special food, you cannot say that you’ve been there. Such culinary tourism is a great leisure activity as well as pleasure for many Taiwanese people. I even made a wish to eat everything in all the night markets around the island when I was a kid.
It is so natural for me to think that each place should have its own special food. But when I’m thinking about bringing my family some special food of NYC, I couldn’t find one. (MacDonald’s and Starbucks are everywhere, let alone Taiwan.) Maybe cheese?