Like many Asian countries in the world, Taiwan consumes the rice as one of staples in our daily life. Back to half century ago, lots of farmers grew their rice and traded with money. Nowadays, many researchers study and find the best way to grow new species for us, and contribute to the variety of rice cultures today. Different rice species affect the taste, and the way we cook. The white color is the most common rice in the world, while others are rare species. The color and the taste of rice depend on the process that we deal with rice husks. The more we take out the husk, the more delicious it will become. However, some people believe that the brown rice are more healthier than other kinds. The black and red color of rice are the local species that are grew by native tribes located in the East coast of Taiwan.
It is believed by some people that black rice can prevent us from getting cancer with Vitamin and other nutrition. Now people eat black rice as one of the desserts after meals. Some rice are made for sushi due to its sticky degree. While I was in Japan, the rice balls I tried are made by white rice; whereas in Taiwan the rice balls are made by sticky rice with meat floss, fried dough and other ingredients.
Most of our foods are fried with pan with some amounts of oil and salts, and fried rice are included. Though high calories for a dish of fried rice, it is one of the popular foods in the restaurant. Both vegetables and meats are fried together, which is convenient to take nutrition for one single man who lives by himself. Unlike Thai rice, our rice are more easily to stick together rather than separate from single granule. In my opinion, this kind of rice is easy to fry and taste better.
The bento meal is the most popular and commonly seen food in Taiwan with affordable price and balance nutrition for a set meal. One of the most popular bentos is pork cutlet, which is famous and sold at each train station. It is easy to find at Taipei main station, so if you are in Taipei, maybe you could try it even you don’t want to take train.
Aside from traditional Taiwanese foods, Japanese foods are one of the popular foreign cuisines in Taiwan and not difficult to spot the place. Sushi was originally made in Japan with its popularity and delicious flavor. In Taiwan, we created different kinds of sushi for people, and the one that you cannot find in Japan is “flower sushi”(はな寿司). There is no flower inside the sushi roll, it’s just different kinds of foods mixed together and it turns out to be good. Not like sushi in Japan, we take out the wasabi from the inner sushi as dressing to make with soy sauce.
The rice dumplings are popular festival foods with mainly stew meat and peanuts inside, due to different regions, the ingredients are slightly differed. Most rice dumplings are steamed with water and wrapped with leaves, so the heat could penetrate the whole rice.
If you do not like dry foods, you can try our congee. Different from the soup rice, the congee is cooked with water for the whole process which is easy to digest. If you lose your appetite, or you feel sick, you can try this as your first rice meal.
Except these foods I listed above, there are still many styles of foods for visitors to discover. We are the people who like to dedicate time to cooking cuisines, so you can enjoy in Taiwan as long as you don’t feel tired.