Welcome to Taiwan, the Beautiful (Food) Island

Blogging about food should be beautifully descriptive, but as my time in Taiwan has been full of frantic feasting, there’s been little opportunity to tell all about it. It’s now 5am my final morning here, and I’m sitting in room at the Grand Hyatt (feeling like I can reach out the window and touch the towering Taipei 101) thinking about all my photos of buns, dumplings, noodles and more – and all the stories I want to tell. Taiwan is, after all, food paradise, particularly with all the street food at night markets, general streetcarts, and storefront windows.

A list will have to suffice for now. Aside from a relentless hunt for xiao long bao, I’ve had delicious dim sum, noodles in soup and without, tea-flavored food, and a superb Shanghaiese meal. I was invited into two homes for hotpot – one traditionally Chinese, the other super-spicy Sichuan. And I’ve been trying every “exotic” fruit I can find, and am finding myself most addicted to the creamy, sweet Buddha head.

And then there’s the crazy stuff. I’ll spare you details, for now, of my nibbles of pork blood, various intestines, chicken’s tail (three ways), chicken’s uterus (in soup with black chicken and ginseng – or what I call the “triple threat”), cock’s comb, stinky tofu, duck’s tongue, and – pictured – duck’s head. All scrumptious!

Today, it’s off to Japan for more adventurous dining. As it’s my seventh trip there, I’ve got old favorites to revisit, new places to discover, and home-cooking to enjoy – including mother-in-law’s. I’m looking forward to all of it! And while I’ll be in the land of great technology, my Internet access will be quite limited. So, this is my opportunity to wish you all happy eating wherever you are, and happy holidays as well!

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