This is the second installment of my travels in Taiwan. For part one, go here.
Thinking back to the trip makes me realize on how I marked each day by what we ate. And, really, that wasn’t a bad decision because, if anything, that soupy noodle soup or that hot bread from the street vendor are worth talking about.
As we looped around the southern tip of the island and started driving back up north, we passed through an area where a lot of tropical fruit flourished.
We stopped along the way at a stand that sold a local variety of dried mango. I sampled the fresh mango, and it had a richer, more complex flavor than the varieties from the Philippines or Mexico that get imported to the U.S. This little road-side shop had many different dried fruits and little cakes (and lots of samples).
This post chronicles what I ate on a recent trip to Taiwan. Hang on as I share some low-quality photos and high-quality memories.
Moments after stepping the plane at approximately 5:34 a.m., we walked out to the curb where we were greeted by our driver in a white Mercedes van. After a 14-hour red-eye flight, we (I, my parents, two sisters and grandma) weren’t the perkiest version of ourselves. Sick of watery, tasteless airplane food, we craved something juicy and fresh.
We headed to an open-air fruit stand on the corner of a busy intersection. I could hear the blaring sound of traffic — bikes, mopeds, cars, and taxis.
Being on an island meant I got to try some fruits I’d never seen before because exotic fruits thrive in Taiwan’s tropical climate. One of them, cherimoya, tasted stringy and almost pungently sweet. We also ate wax apples a couple times, which, true to their name, are like a watered down version of apple — crisp but rather bland. We also tried mango, pineapple, and bananas, and the Taiwanese varieties proved to be sweeter (the mangoes and pineapple) and creamier (the bananas).
The first day, we headed into Taipei. As a highly populated city, Taipei boasts smoggy air, mad swarms of people riding mopeds, and lots of face mask-wearers. During our trip, we planned to get a survey of the island, starting from the northern part of the island, driving along the eastern coast to the southern tip and through the middle of the island back to Taipei’s in a week’s time. Therefore, every night we lived in a different hotel — the constant, on-the-g0 nature of our trip was exciting yet exhausting. Continue reading “Tasting My Way Through Taiwan (Part 1)”→
Aaannnnd I’m back! I’m well aware of the fact that it’s been a long time since my last post. Junior year was crazy, and I do admit that I got lazy and had other things to focus on besides blogging. Never fear, though, because I’ve got lots of new things planned and hope to post more frequently during the upcoming school year. First up, a peek into one of my foodie-related adventures this summer at the renowned Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, Calif.
As I’m sure anyone who’s currently in school or has been in school can relate, I’ve come face-to-face with the brutal reality that summer break is dwindling and school will begin in just four short days.
It’s easy to say, “If I just had one more week of summer, then I’d be ready for school to start.” But then I remind myself of the importance of just living in the moment and being content right where I am. I should appreciate for the fun times spent with friends, the memories made, and the days I got the privilege of sleeping in. The break blessed me with time to relax and rejuvenate before I enter the daunting college application season.
With that in mind, food always plays a quintessential part in my summer, not just because it brings people together but for the way it captures the flavors and spirit of the season.
My family stops by Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, Calif. when we’re in the Santa Cruz area. I absolutely adore the shop’s ambiance because it provides a space for people of all types — the coffee-drinking and newspaper-reading customers who lounge by the large windows, the tourists who gaze in awe at the case of buttery pastries, the parent whose child needs a quick bite after school, and everyone in between.
We went to this bakery in San Francisco to pick up one of their famous Tres Leches cakes. Dianda’s is an old Italian bakery that is now apparently owned by its workers. It got really high ratings on Yelp. 🙂
When we walked in, the aroma was instantly fresh, warm, and inviting.