Taiwan is a diverse culinary paradise that offers an array of snacks. With over 8,000 7-Elevens and Family Marts scattered around the country, it’s no surprise that Taiwanese snacks are gaining popularity worldwide. According to recent studies, international tourists spent an estimated $7 billion on food experiences in Taiwan in 2019 alone.
In this article, visitors to Taiwan will discover nine local snacks they can take home as souvenirs from their vacation. From salty treats like stinky tofu jerky to sweet delights such as pineapple cake, there is something for every palate. Read on to find out which snacks should be added to your shopping list while traveling to Taiwan!
1. Traditional Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes
When it comes to vacationing in Taiwan, a snack worth mentioning is the traditional Taiwanese pineapple cake. With its delectable combination of buttery-flaky crust and sweet juicy pineapple filling, this delicious treat has become a staple for tourists visiting the island nation. To satisfy your cravings, why not bring some home?
It’s no surprise that the origins of these snacks date back to 1786 when the first batch was created by a local baker. This old-fashioned recipe is still relatively unchanged today; using only fresh pineapples mixed with brown sugar, then placed inside a pastry dough made from flour and lard. After baking, each piece is packed into specially designed boxes – perfect as souvenirs or gifts for friends and family!
The unique flavor makes them an ideal addition to any holiday suitcase. So why not indulge yourself when traveling around Taiwan? Make sure you pick up some classic pineapple cakes before you head back home!
2. Sun Cakes From Tainan
Juxtaposing the soft and flaky texture of a sun cake with its sweet, syrupy filling, one can almost taste the burst of flavors in their mouth. Sun cakes are an iconic snack originating from Tainan – Taiwan’s southernmost city. These traditional treats have become popular for their unique combination of crunchy crusts enveloping a dense layer of maltose syrup. The distinct aroma of these snacks is unmistakable and leaves an unforgettable impression on anyone who indulges in them.
The process of making sun cakes is complex; it takes several steps to make each individual piece before they are ready to be enjoyed. Firstly, glutinous rice flour is mixed with baking soda and lard until there is a dough-like consistency. Then, this mixture is rolled into thin sheets which are filled with maltose syrup before being folded into semi-circle shapes and deep fried till golden brown.
This painstaking method ensures that all elements remain intact while simultaneously creating a crisp exterior and fluffy interior – perfect for those seeking something both savory and sweet!
3. Oil-Soaked Bean Curd From Tainan
Tainan, in Taiwan, is a city known for its delightful snacks. One of the most famous among them is oil-soaked bean curd. This snack has an interesting backstory that’s sure to capture everyone’s attention.
The way it was made originated from a story about how locals used this method as emergency food during wartime due to limited resources and supplies. They would soak the bean curd with oil, which not only increased the shelf life but also added flavor to the dish. It quickly became popular and widespread throughout Tainan and beyond.
Today, this unique snack can be found all over local markets in various forms such as cubes or strips with different flavors. The taste itself is slightly sweet yet savory at the same time with a hint of spiciness depending on what ingredients are put into it – creating a mouthwatering experience like no other!
4. Oyster Omelette From Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung is a city in Taiwan renowned for its delicious and unique cuisine. One of the popular dishes found here that visitors must try is an oyster omelet, also known as ‘Jian. This dish consists of small oysters mixed with eggs which are fried together on an iron plate over a heat source, giving it a crispy texture. The oyster omelet is then topped with some sweet sauce to give it extra flavor.
The preparation process itself is almost an art form, requiring skillful technique and precision to get the perfect balance between crispiness and softness. Due to this complexity, many people opt to buy their own pre-made version from street vendors or restaurants instead.
Regardless of where you choose to obtain your oyster omelet, make sure that you savor every bite! It’s something worth bringing home from your vacation in Taiwan.
5. Bubble Tea From Taichung
Bubble tea is a popular drink originating in Taiwan, and it can be found all over the country. Taichung City is famed for having some of the best bubble tea around and should not be missed on any visit to Taiwan. The drinks are made with tapioca pearls that add texture to the beverage. They come in a variety of flavors and sweeteners, from fruity options such as mango or strawberry to classic black milk teas. Additionally, there are different levels of sweetness available so it’s easy to find one that suits your taste preferences.
The process for making bubble tea typically involves adding either hot water or milk depending on the flavor desired before boiling the tapioca pearls until they become chewy and soft. After this stage, ice cubes are added along with other ingredients like syrup or honey to give them a unique flavor.
Finally, toppings such as jelly pieces or fresh fruit may also be included if desired. With its delicious taste and array of customization options, bubble tea makes an ideal souvenir to bring home after visiting Taichung City!
6. Stinky Tofu From Taipei
One of the most iconic dishes in Taiwan is stinky tofu, a fermented soybean-based product with a strong smell. According to estimates, up to 60% of Taiwanese households have at least one serving of this dish on any given day. When visiting Taipei, it should not be overlooked; although its odor may deter some visitors, those who brave through and sample it will find that it has a deep flavor profile and an enjoyable texture.
Stinky tofu can be found throughout Taipei’s many night markets and restaurants, usually served either fried or steamed. It can also come with various toppings such as pickled vegetables or sauces like sweet chili paste for added flavor.
No matter how it’s prepared, there is no denying that the unique aroma that comes from eating stinky tofu makes it stand out amongst other snacks found in Taipei. For anyone looking to bring home something memorable from their trip to Taiwan, stinky tofu is a must-try item that offers both an interesting experience and great taste.
7. Flaky Scallion Pancakes From Taipei
Taipei, Taiwan is home to many unique snacks that visitors should bring back with them from their vacation. One of these treats is the flaky scallion pancakes which are a local favorite. These savory and crunchy little cakes have a light texture due to their layers made of flour dough, oil, and chopped scallions. This snack can be found in most night markets throughout Taipei where it is freshly cooked on hot flat griddles and served piping hot.
The flavor profile of this delicious snack varies depending on the type of oil used for cooking as well as the amount of salt added during preparation. Some vendors also add different condiments such as garlic or chili paste to give an extra kick to the already flavorful dish.
The best way to enjoy these pancakes is by eating them while they’re still warm so that you can take advantage of all the flavors melting together like butter when they hit your tongue!
8. Handmade Dumplings From Yilan County
A trip to Taiwan is like an exploration of cultural delicacies. From the flaky scallion pancakes of Taipei to the handmade dumplings of Yilan County, all these unique snacks are a treat for any traveler’s taste buds.
Yilan County has long been known for its delightful and diverse array of dishes, and its handmade dumplings are no exception. These little morsels consist of thin wheat flour wrappers filled with meats or vegetables that are then steamed or fried until they reach perfection.
The savory filling combined with the delicate texture of the wrapper makes this snack undeniably delicious. Moreover, it can be enjoyed as either a light snack or served as part of a bigger meal – making it suitable for any occasion during your stay in Taiwan.
9. Fried Chicken Cutlet From Taoyuan
Fried chicken cutlet from Taoyuan is an iconic Taiwanese snack. It can be compared to a symphony of flavors, with the succulent and tender chicken enveloped in a crunchy golden-brown crust. This delectable treat has become a staple for many locals and tourists alike, who flock to this region to get their hands on some delicious fried chicken cutlets.
The recipe to make these savory treats starts with marinating the chicken with spices like black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder before coating it generously with a flour mixture. The next step is frying them until they turn a beautiful golden brown color. Finally, they are placed onto paper towels or plates so that any remaining oil is absorbed. The result? A flavorful and filling dish that will have you coming back for more!
This popular street food stands out because of its unique texture. With each bite bursting with flavor and juiciness, there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in Taiwan. Conclusion
Taiwan snacks offer travelers the opportunity to sample delectable dishes that cannot be found elsewhere in the world. No matter what type of traveler you may be – adventurous or conservative – these tasty treats are guaranteed to bring joy, satisfaction, and memories that last a lifetime.