Taiwan is of course the home of the world-famous Pearl Milk Tea. Considered as the national drink of the Taiwanese people, pearl milk tea is a symbol of joy and happiness.
No matter how many new drinks have been invented in Taiwan, pearl milk tea will always be the top choice.
And while we’ve seen a boom of milk tea stores here in the Philippines, Taiwan still has secrets left in store for all those who will visit – Taichung’s Chun Shui Tang is one of them, this is where the first milk tea was born.
But Taiwan is not only famous for its milk teas, they have a lot of delicacies to satisfy foodies from anywhere in the world.
Originated as a famous dim sum in Shanghai’s Nanxiang area, xiaolongbao is also called “Nanxiang Mantou”. Known for its thin layer and rich pork stuffings, the Taiwanese xiaolongbao also includes seasonal ingredients such as sponge gourd and cucumber, giving it a distinct taste. When eating xiaolongbao, always remember that the soup is as important as the stuffing and the skin.
Widely known for its savory taste, Oyster Omelet is a favorite street food in Taiwan found in every night market and almost all districts. The omelet is cooked by placing round and fresh oysters on heated plates before adding vegetables, eggs and potato starch water. The omelet is then turned upside down and brushed with a special sauce. The texture is crispy on the outside and soft and tasty on the inside.
Baked Pepper Buns
Also known as Spring Onion Meat Cake, this delicacy is said to have originated in Fuzhou. When the dish arrived in Taiwan, pepper was added to give the meat a spicier flavor. Baked Pepper Bun is about the size of a palm, and its stuffing includes chopped meat and spring onions.
Sausage Wrapped in Sticky Rice
Another famous Taiwanese dim sum and street food. It’s basically what the name says it is – cooked on a grill or baked in an oven.
It has a weird smell, but the taste is far different from what is smells like. Stinky Tofu is made first by soaking tofu in a special brine, allowing it to become fermented.
Aiyu is a plant native to Taiwan, mostly grown in the mountains of Nantou and Chiayi. Its fruit is green in color, a bit like mango. The fruits contains seeds exude a sticky gel when rubbed in cold water – this liquid then turns into what is called an Aiyu Jelly after 30 minutes. Add some lemon of syrup and it turns into a sour and sweet tasting summer treat.
Tofu Pudding is made from condensed soy bean milk which have a softer texture than ordinary tofu. The fragrant and sweet taste makes tofu pudding goes best with peanuts, adzuki beans, green beans, taros and other toppings. It is one of the most popular sweet dim sums in the streets of Taiwan.
Spring Onion Loose Pancake
This dish originated from mainland China and has become a popular street food in Taiwan. This is served fast and hot and goes well with eggs, cheese, vegetables, smoked chicken and Asian basil.
This is one of the most common dim sum all over Taiwan but the way it is prepared is different from each other. In Central Taiwan, meatballs are mostly fried, and the stuffing usually includes bamboo slices. In Southern Taiwan, meatballs are mostly steamed, and usually includes shrimps in the stuffing, giving it a more delicate taste.
There are lots of other delicacies to experience in Taiwan, don’t forget to try also their Beef Noodles, Braised dishes and Vermicelli that you can usually find in the restaurants.
Now there are other Taiwanese delicacies that you can actually bring with you home and give as gifts to relatives and friends. Here are some of the most popular take-home goodies from Taiwan:
- Candied Fruits (Plums, Dried Mangoes, Dried Pineapples)
- Sun Cakes (Originated in Taichung, a sweet thin cake with malt filling)
- Square Biscuits (Originated in Chiayi)
- Egg Rolls (A popular treat in Taiwan made with various flavors like coffee, chocolate, tea, sesame and seaweed)
- Mochis (Sticky Rice Cakes)
- Meat Jerkies (Pork, Beef)
- Taiwanese Nougats
- Pineapple Cakes
And oh, don’t forget the teas! There are four that Taiwanese considers as a local specialty: Wenshan Baozhong, Dongding Oolong, Baihao Oolong, and Tieguanyin.
The Taiwan Tourism Information Center Manila office is open Mondays to Fridays from 9:30am to 6:00pm. Here is the address:
Tower 1, 8th Floor, Highstreet South Corporate Plaza, 9th Avenue, corner 26th St, BGC, Taguig, Philppines.
(063) 925 788 7039