Going to Taiwan and want to eat like the locals? Here are some things you might want to try. You’ll need to have a sense of adventure to try a few of these dishes.
- Bubble Tea – Out of all the new food and drink I was able to sample on my trip, this was by far my favorite thing. Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea or boba milk tea, is a Taiwanese tea-based drink. Most bubble tea recipes contain a tea base mixed with fruit or milk along with “bubbles”. The “bubbles are chewy tapioca balls. If eating things with different textures bothers you this may not be the drink for you. Instead try some plain milk tea or oolong tea at a tea house.
- Guava – Super sweet has the texture similar of a pear. Tasted better as a candy flavor then a fruit.
- Custard apples – Juicy and nothing like an apple. Has a texture similar to a peach. Try it, because it is delicious…and now one of my new favorite fruits.
- Dragon Fruit – Another one of my new favorite fruits. It’s got the texture of a kiwi, but with a different flavor. I wish I could find these where I live they are that good. Note: The inside of a dragon fruit can be pink or white.
- Mango Shaved Ice – It is what it sounds like and that is yummy. Basically it tastes like mango ice cream with some toppings.
- Fried mushrooms – These aren’t the mushrooms you know. If you try this dish I recommend the weirdest looking mushroom, which is looks like a bunch of four inch strings with a bead on the end of each. There will be many mushrooms to choose from, but if you see the one I advise getting that one because it tastes the best…at least to me, and looks the most unusual.
- Daikon radish – In the United States we’re use to the small red radishes, but in Asia they have the Daikon radish, which looks more like a long white carrot than a radish. They put these in many dishes, but have a more tame flavor than a typical radish you’d have in the states.
- Hot Pot – Hot Pot is an Asian type of restaurant where you have a pot full of hot water at your table then you put the veggies, fish, or meat you want to eat in the pot and cook to your liking. You also get to create your own dipping concoction for your veggies, noodles, and meat. These are becoming more prominent in the states. It’s a strange dining experience going to a restaurant so you can cook your own food, but I highly recommended if you ever get the chance to try.
- If you’re a vegetarian, you’re in luck. Because many people are Buddhist in Taiwan and refrain from eating meat, it is a cuisine art form to make vegetarian food look and taste like meat.
- Vegetarian sushi – Don’t like sushi try is vegetarian style. It’s much better! If you get the chance, it tastes a lot like the inside of a Jimmy John’s #6 vegetarian sandwich and the seaweed has a milder taste because it’s dried and salted.
- Snacks – Feeling adventurous? Walk into a 7-11 in Taiwan, which is prevalent there, and you will see a multitude of stomach twisting snacks. Some of the scariest things they sell are tea eggs (hard boiled eggs soaked in tea), shrimp or squid flavored chips, quail eggs, asparagus juice, fish jerky, and dried sardines just to name a few. Pack some in you’re carry on and dare your friends and family to try when you get back from your trip.
- Taro – A purple sweet potato. If you like sweet potatoes you will enjoy this. Don’t let the purple color intimidate you.
- Dessert pancake – These can be purchased at night markets for super cheap. They are pancakes/waffles stuffed with cream. Yummy!
- Stinky fruit – Yes, that is its real name and for good reason. Want to try something that smells like dirty socks? Then this is the fruit for you. I never actually tried this because I was too appalled by its smell, so I can’t actually tell you what it tastes like.
- Other Taiwan Eat’s