Food Culture In Taiwan website

Taiwan’s Government Information Office has launched a new website to help promote Taiwanese Cuisine.  Taiwan Food Culture is a slick portal that provides a range of information on traditional Taiwanese culture and the food that plays an important part of it. 

One of the issues with ‘Taiwanese’ food is that it is difficult to describe exactly what it is.  Back home in Australia, members of our Taiwanese community often got together to cook dishes at festivals to recreate the food they missed.  Only then were they able to stamp certain dishes as ‘Taiwanese’.  Many common dishes in Taiwan are adapted from elsewhere:  Chinese, Japanese or even Western cuisine.  Yet through fusion, they have taken on their own unique flavours — whether it is the simple biandang lunchbox (Taiwanese bento), pudding (mimicking Portuguese creme caramel), or beef noodle soup (introduced by post 1949 immigrants from northern China).  This website is a useful resource for bringing information and descriptions together of key dishes in the Taiwanese cuisine.  It does not contain everything, but still there is a good representation. 

Surfing through this website, I was intrigued to learn more about the history of danzi noodles.  And of the poetic background to the deliciously fatty dongpu pork.  There are also several informative short videos to watch, including a beautiful documentary on Taiwan’s tea culture and a colourful clip on the role of food in traditional banquets.  Nor is it all about old-fashioned food — the site explains the origins of ‘stir-fry 100’ and Taiwan’s famous pearl milk tea.  And there is even a section on indigenous food.

This site is a must for anyone interested in Taiwan’s cultural heritage.  Unfortunately, it does not include recipes. But be warned:  don’t watch on an empty stomach as it is liable to make you hungry.

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About taiwanxifu

‘Taiwanxifu’ (pronounced ‘shee foo’) means ‘Taiwan daughter-in-law’ in Chinese and has been my nickname ever since I married my Taiwanese husband, Sam. I love sampling Taiwanese food, even local specialties such as stinky tofu, pigs blood cake and Taipei beef noodle soup with offal. But there are many other options on the menu. Promise!
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3 Responses to Food Culture In Taiwan website

  1. Eileen says:

    “Many common dishes in Taiwan are adapted from elsewhere: Chinese, Japanese or even Western cuisine.”

    So true. My husband actually had flan while he was growing up. I can’t be too surprised considering the Spanish once accupied Taiwan. I realize my husband and I grew up with some of the same foods. Who would’ve thought?

    Thanks for the link. Love this. 😀 I might even share it.

    • taiwanxifu says:

      Yeah, if pudding is not Spanish/Portugese influenced flan I don’t know what is. Yet my husand keeps telling me it is a Taiwanese invention. I think Taiwan is one of the original food fusion destinations. Dig a bit deeper behind what people eat and why and there are all sorts of influences.

      • Eileen says:

        My husband even noticed a huge similarity. He tried the flan and his childhood version; he barely could tell the difference. 😀 In that case, Americans invented the hot dog. haha!

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