Traditional lifestyle

Back to centuries ago, many Taiwanese lived in brick houses with wooden doors for safeguarding themselves. Some citizens worked at farmlands everyday with meager wage to raise their own family, while some rich people might hire servants without doing any chores. Most rich families owned their businesses in Taiwan and imported goods from China to make money, just like decades ago, when lots of foreign companies invested in China, expanding their footprints into a new developing country. Although some businessmen became rich by cross-strait businesses started from centuries ago; which made Taiwan and China have close ties in economic activities, life here was distinctive without a deny.

I believe that many Asian countries lived by Lunar calendar back then. Life was tough and the government had never concerned us. Food variety was not as abundant as nowadays, so many foods were made with local ingredients only. Traditionally, people consumed rice or noodles for our regular meals. Even though Western food culture has influenced our life, some people are not satisfied with eating hamburgers or pizzas as their staple.

Current display of traditional lifestyle

Food stalls were popular with few chairs for travelers to take a break during their long trips. Some businessmen would sell tea for their customers, while some would just leave the tea pot at the bower, so people who took a long journey could enjoy it and relaxed for a while for their next destination. I guessed this was part of our tea culture, or maybe the origin. Also, temples were the places where people stayed as a temporary shelter. But now, visitors will not stay there as a hostel, so guest rooms are not open or become merely a display for the public.

Speaking of foods, Tainan Danzai noodles is the most delicious and recognized by the public which originated in Taiwan, with shrimp broth and meat ball as the topping. It was very classic, and some locals even enjoyed the noodles for their tea time.

Traditional Tainan Danzai noodles. Some locals called it ta-á-mī in Taiwanese.

Lots of Taiwanese foods are pan-fried, eggs with basil is one of the famous dishes with accessible ingredients and less expensive price than other meals.

Pan fried eggs with basil.

Milkfish soup was locally made cuisine especially the belly part, though some people eat the fish balls or other part of the fish, the taste is fantastic without a doubt. Some locals are braised food lovers, and the typical braised pork rice is probably the best option among the public.

Traditional braised pork rice with Milkfish soup

During the centuries without TV or internet, children went to mountains or rivers for having fun. Nature was their only option even though some people got lost with mysterious haunting story of the stream, they never stopped being curious.

Taiwanese used to live in the house with tiles on their roofs. For poor people, they might live in the hay house.

Traditional house

Usually the kitchen was the place where we steamed foods, or pan-fried our vegetables. Salty rice pudding was also steamed by the giant iron cooker; different regions provided with their own flavor. For me, the salty rice pudding from Tainan is the best after trying so many other rice pudding at restaurants.

Traditional kitchen

The salty rice pudding tastes great with sweet soy sauce. I am so glad that people can still enjoy the traditional foods now, which makes the connection with our past history.

Salty rice pudding

Hope this post is helpful to overseas friends. Sharing the food culture with everyone is quite amazing, though I may not be good at explaining the whole history. If you would like to eat and have fun like us when you are here, it would be lovely.

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