Saturday, November 18, 2006

When you move to the other side of the world...

Okay. So it's been a while.

A long, long while.

And I promised so much. Seattle, Greece, Istanbul. Then the summer flew by and before I knew it I was on a plane at JFK, internationally bound.

Sure, I could write up a million excuses as to why I have not posted a single thing since June, but the biggest reason is that I left my beloved New York City and MOVED halfway across the world to Taipei.

Yup. I packed up and moved here in September. Of course I've been eating this whole time. Eating a lot. A helluva lot.

My life here in Taiwan quickly took shape and it has been a busy one at that. Like the locals here I've tended to eat out almost every meal, but after two months of eating like this its begining to take its toll. I've had some serious cravings, everything from bagels to baklava. With the recent addition of a new toaster oven (most kitchens here are not outfitted with a regular oven), I'm sure I'll be back to baking and cooking soon.

Since the last time I was here in the summer of '05, I'd forgotten just how incredibly delicious the fruit can be in Taiwan. I've consumed pounds of guava, pomelos and now I'm begining to munch on wax apples (by far and away my favorite fruit in Taiwan...even if it sounds like something totally indedible).

In addition I've been exploring the food scene at a much faster pace than my previous visit with help from both locals and expatriates. I live near a lively night market breaming with street food. I've taken to trying out quite a few vegetarian restaurants, too, with some great results. A few weeks ago I even attended the closing of the 2006 Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival (including the final cookoff for 1st place in the beef noodle competition). More on that in a future post.

I'll be back to blogging more regularly now, I PROMISE. I'll be posting not only about Taipei eats, but what I experienced over the summer as well.

For the moment, please enjoy these foodie pics of recent foods I've enjoyed.

I find guavas tastes best when their still crisp, but sweet.

Known as a mochi to the west, "moji" is cooked rice that's been pounded out to become smooth, sticky and soft. Often its rolled in crushed peanut or some other crunchy ingredient.

Walking along Heping East Road, I came across a man selling what looks like a Chinese version of rice krispies. I was curious enough to buy a half bag. They're not so chewy or sweet as their american counterpart, but I found them satisfying, especially with a nice cup of freshly brewed wulong tea. They became breakfast bars for quite a few rushed mornings.

There's a Yunnuan restaurant a few blocks from my apartment. From my two visits I've found most of the dishes to be decent, but nothing stood out, except this one. It's crispy sour chicken with lightly fried chicken doused in vinegar on a bed of shredded cabbage.

to continue reading...