Taiwanese food

Today marks a true first. For the first time ever, Prince Roy and I more or less agree on something. I say “more or less” because while he says Taiwanese food is considerably overrated, he also says it’s “good,” and I can’t really concur. It can be good – it can sometimes be marvelous – but most of the time it just isn’t.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

You’re both crazy ๐Ÿ™

Cantonese food, on the other hand, is truly overrated.

November 20, 2006 @ 2:28 am | Comment

Richard,

Tell you what, I’ll have to suspend my judgement until next time when I visit Taipei. You can treat me to a meal or two and I’ll be able to tell you whether Taiwanese cuisine is overrated. A deal?

November 20, 2006 @ 2:28 pm | Comment

It’s a deal, as long as you get here within the next 6 weeks. (Where I’ll be after that isn’t exactly clear right now.)

November 20, 2006 @ 5:47 pm | Comment

Here in Beijing, I do enjoy the occasional bowl of Taiwanese-style beef noodles and the like, but I think everybody knows that Sichuan food has it reallygoing on. Taiwanese and Cantonese food always struck me as bland – though I am a sucker for good dimsaam.

November 20, 2006 @ 5:48 pm | Comment

Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine are bland because they use varied fresh ingredients that don’t need to be overspiced. The use of spices are to hide the lack of variety in taste of the ingredients.

November 20, 2006 @ 9:09 pm | Comment

Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisine are bland because they use varied fresh ingredients that don’t need to be overspiced. The use of spices are to hide the lack of variety in taste of the ingredients.

November 20, 2006 @ 9:09 pm | Comment

Brendan, I love good beef noodles (had them for dinner tonight. But that sems to be the staple fod here, and I can only eat it so many times a week.

I think Cantonese has gotten a bad rap, maybe because in the US it’s so god-awful. Really fine Cantonese food is delectable. Steamed fish with green onions and ginger – nothing tastes better than that (presuming the fish didn’t come from the sewer). And a good roast goose with plum sauce…damn, I wish I were back in Hong Kong right now.

November 20, 2006 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

Finally my favorite topic-food.
Those who have said that Cantonese food is bland have not tasted the really good stuff. Plse do not compare your road side tim sum ( although selectively and also generally it would be much better that the Shanghai fare)with those that are beautifully made dumplings and har kau that we see in the better restaurants. They melt in your mouth with delicate flavours. Amongst us Chinese Cantonese food reign supreme versus the over oiled, over salted and over cooked muck
from the North. I am a Hakka which origins traced from the North of China and lived in South East Asia where we have great cooking of every race from good French to excellent Shanghainese fare to roadside Hokkien and Umbrian Italian to very good Punjabi Indian.

I find Cantonese cooking amongst the best of them.

November 21, 2006 @ 11:47 am | Comment

Cantonese has gotten a bad rap, maybe because in the US it’s so god-awful. Really fine Cantonese food is delectable.

Word and word.

November 21, 2006 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

Richard,

I won’t be able to travel for at least the next 3 months – doctor’s order. But you will keep us posted of your movement, won’t you?

November 21, 2006 @ 4:18 pm | Comment

Yes, Fat Cat, I certainly will. And please, take care of yourself!

November 21, 2006 @ 6:02 pm | Comment

well, Richard, I guess there’s a first time for everything.

And just to clarify, it’s the regional Chinese food in Taiwan that I think is overrated.

Taiwanese food itself is not really my cup of tea, but I do like some of it, especially in the night markets. So I think I agree with you on that too.

Pan says: The use of spices are to hide the lack of variety in taste of the ingredients.

Pan, that’s just silly. Meet me in Chengdu in late February and I will be glad to prove you wrong. They don’t call Sichuan 天府之國 for nothing.

November 23, 2006 @ 8:08 am | Comment

Traditional Taiwanese food is mostly poor people’s food, somewhat similiar to American-Southern or French country cooking where various bits and parts of the animal are used. During Japanese colonial era the Japanese got the good meat cuts and the Taiwanese were left with parts like, pig’s feet and ears. So to this day they’re still eating them.

The best time period for food in Taiwan was 1960’s-1980s. Back then you still had many Japanese-trained chiefs who spent 3 years just to learn how to cut fish, and traditional Chinese food cooks from Mainland China who came to escape communists — some were known to even bring their “sauce pot” with them that had been passed down from their masters.

These were the masters who spent years perfecting their cooking skills. At best their skills passed down by 1 generation, and after that, poof. The younger generation today is less likely to spend years as an apprecentice to a chef.

There’s still some good restaurants in Taiwan today, just not as good as it was in the past.

November 25, 2006 @ 6:33 am | Comment

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