taiwan hearts FOOD

Allison eats stinky tofu

When I asked some teachers this summer in a week long English camp to list the top ten things to do while in Taiwan they listed number one as "eat" and number two as "eat some more." 

When I asked my kid brother what I should make sure to take our cousins to do and see, the first 75% of his list was all about food!!

When I show my students a picture of an armadillo, the very first question they all ask is either "how do you cook it?" or "does it taste good?"

Anyone who has been to Taiwan knows that Taiwanese people LOVE food. 

Every city, every county, every village has a food that it is famous for.  And, please do not return back to your hometown and tell people you didn't try the famous foods of the place you just visited.  This is a major faux pas

Oh, and instead of bringing back "My grandma went to LA and I all got was this t-shirt" gifts, all you have to do in Taiwan is bring back a box or bag of famous snacks from the town you visited and everyone will be happy.

Yes, it is true, the Taiwanese LOVE food.

When Sandy posted a youtube video on stinky tofu, I just had to go check it out.  I was pleased to find that there are actually a total of six videos on (bizarre) foods in Taiwan.

Part 1: Stinky Tofu
Part 2: ShrLing Night Market
Part 3: Herbal Foods
Part 4: A Food Court in 101

Part 5: Foods from Tea
Part 6: Aboriginal Foods

If you wanna know more about Taiwan, you can learn quite a bit (not just about food) through this Travel Channel show broken into 6 parts.  But, if you only have time for one . . . you gotta watch the first one on stinky tofu--THE national food of Taiwan--that "stinks even worse than it sounds." :D

But, my two "gripes" with this show are (1) he never leaves Taipei County and (2) they are mostly all unusual foods (not the things we eat on a daily basis). :)  But, the name of the show is "Bizarre Foods: Taiwan" so number 2 makes sense.  Oh, and he never tried the 1,000 year old egg that was on his plate. . . he is weak I tell you, weak.

All kidding aside, I would love for someone to make a show of this quality about the GREAT, unique foods ALL of Taiwan has to offer.  I would buy a copy of that DVD for sure!!

What's the most bizarre thing you've ever eaten?


  1. Amanda:
    I've got this same post going up later in the week... you beat me to it! Good videos... I really enjoyed them.
    Why would anyone leave Taipei County anyway? :-)
    I'm not sure what the most bizarre thing I've eaten is... when I'm out with friends here, I've learned that I don't really want to know what stuff is until after I've eaten it and then forget to ask.
    I do really like fried baby octopus heads, though.

  2. I watched that on the Travel channel a couple weeks ago!!
    I was rather surprised at him. I've seen him eat kebab-style grub worms, among many other nasty items. I can't say that I've ever seen him *not* get something down. I guess the stinky tofu was too much?? And you're right: he didn't even taste the egg, once. pity.... given your description of it, I'd say he wouldn't have swallowed it, either. :)
    Overall, I did enjoy seeing a bit of your "home away from home". It was interesting!!

  3. The weirdest thing I've eaten: probably octopus or a soup (I use this term generously!) with all the antenna things in it. YUM (kidding!)
    The weirdest thing I've eaten and liked: bamboo (Now that's a serious YUM!!) :)
    Ahh ... good memories of China! :-)

  4. Yeah, let's just say that his descriptions of stinky tofu were actually very kind. It is truly a putrid smell--think gas station restroom and your close. :)
    I've had stinky tofu stewed, fried, and steamed. Steamed is not bad--I could that again. Fried is ok. But, stewed is by far the worst.
    I once had stewed tofu vendor serve me some and then sit down next to me to watch me eat it. He was my neighbor's friend and we were all at the night market. Ahh . . .nothing like eating something you can barely stomach in front of the one who cooked it and gave it to you for free.
    And . . . I remember my very first baby octopus!!! :) I was totally freaked out. But, I don't think I've ever them fried before.
    I've eaten bamboo, but I don't quite care for it cold with mayo on top. Hot is better.

  5. The stinky tofu he bought from the street vendor actually looked pretty good! He seemed to like it, too. I'd give that a shot.
    I can't say the same for the restaurant he went into. Seeing it...um...marinating was fairly nasty. It *looked* like something you'd find in a gas station restroom.
    I don't know that I've ever eaten anything bizarre :( I've had alligator and shark, but I don't think those count, really.


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