Taiwan has some interesting foods, some of which I like and don't like. I do love the variety of beverages that Taiwan has to offer. AppleSidra is my favorite so far--it is made right here in Taiwan-- followed close by Bing-Shas that they sell a few streets away. I love going to that Bing-Sha place; it is run by Shen -Na and her husband. They are very cordial people; I like them a great deal! Their son's name is trouble, which I just found out yesterday.
Here in Taiwan there "sweet" things are not as sweet, which is a good thing. Even their ice cream isn't too sweet. I have only bought one kind here. It is a Taiwanese red bean ice cream. Surprisingly, the bean is not covered with something caramelized something, but plain, which I like.
Also, anything "cheesy" tastes sweet. It seems that here salt is not used as much as in America and Canada (the only two country besides this one I have been). I am used to cheesy cheesiness! I bought some cheese crackers with fake processed cheese in the middle, and they cracker itself was sweet and tasted more like peanut butter than cheese. At Asia Go, the equivalent of Wal-Mart, I bought what I thought was garlic bread and the glaze on it was sweet too, but not too sweet. I am definitely a salt-girl myself. Even the margarine tastes sweet. It is odd.
I am glad that at the 24-hour store I found real fake processed cheese and it is NOT sweet. Yay! I made grilled cheese sandwiches. Yum! It tastes really American. At the Costco in Taipei, you can buy real real cheddar cheese. Next time I have money and if I go, I want to buy some. I long to have just plain cheese melted in the microwave! It is so good to eat. It wastes, I mean uses, a lot of cheese quickly, but there is nothing better than crunchy, melty, greasy cheese.
Also at the 24-hour store, I found black sesame seeds. I wanted to try them out it see what the difference was between them and white/ivory-colored ones. I ate some when I got home and there didn’t seem to be much of a difference, so I went to the Internet. Wikipedia told me a little more about them, but it didn’t seem to say much other than, “In general, the paler varieties of sesame seem to be more valued in the West and Middle East, while the black varieties are prized in the Far East.” So there you have it, it would seem the only difference is color preference. To me, it seems, that the black sesame seeds has more of a nutty flavor. *shrug
Now moving onto candy! I do like their candy. They have this really good candy called Hi Chews. They are fruity candy, which are soft and easily chewed. Compared to Starburst, these make your mouth shout for joy and your tongue back-flips. I just love them A LOT. For a few weeks I was addicted to them. I love the green apple flavor the best followed closely by the lycee flavor. Lycee is an interesting fruit, which I also like. I do prefer the candy variation better though. Another candy, chocolate in persuasion, which I love, is called Bufio. It is nougat candy that is just yummy. Other chocolate candies here: Picnic, Always, Guts, etc…
Eating out! Dang, I almost forgot. There are night markets here in Taiwan. One night I tried squid. It was so gross looking, but with the hot marinate they put over it, it was amazing. Even eating the “tentacles” wasn’t so bad. It was yummy! I would have never thought I would be okay with it. I ate it up pretty quickly.
Eating out has been a pretty good experience. We have found this really nice restaurant called Style. It has some “American” foods. When I went the first time, I had this wonderful herbal tea: Chrysanthemum and wolfberry berry (I could never remember the last part…Shannon can remember, but I cannot.
In Taichung, we went to the mall. Just outside of the mall was a TGI Friday’s! It was wonderfully amazing! I had a big fat cheeseburger. I WILL go there again, I promise. Yum! Coincidentally, it was the first TGI Friday’s I had ever been.
Well enough of food. There is much more I would talk about, but I think I will stop for now.
Here are some other “cool” facts about sesame seeds from Wikipedia:
According to Assyrian legend, when the gods met to create the world, they drank wine made from sesame seeds. In early Hindu legends, tales are told in which sesame seeds represent a symbol of immortality. "Open sesame," the famous phrase from the Arabian Nights, reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity..
It is also used in Urdu literature as proverbs "til dharnay ki jagah na hona"; meaning by, a place so crowded that there is no room for a single seed of sesame and "in tilon mein teil nahee" (ان تلوں میں تیل نہیں); referred for a person who is very mean, meaning by there is no oil left in this sesame.
In recent times the seeds have become an ingredient in wiccan practices. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen suggests their use to aid conception, to draw money, or for protection.