Taiwanese Food – A Celebration of Community and Life

There’s a very popular quote by the famous chef Julia Child which says, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” If we were to go by this saying, then the Taiwanese people are certainly some of the finest folks in the world. For the Taiwanese not only love to eat but they also possess outstanding culinary skills, making this island nation a food haven like no other.

What’s special about Taiwanese food is how diverse and multicultural it is. The varied cuisine has been heavily influenced by Taiwan’s long sociopolitical history. There’s a rich tradition which has been passed down over the years and of which the Taiwanese take extreme pride in. Combine this with the ever innovative nature of the chefs and the unquenchable passion for food shown by the local population, and what you get is a collective celebration of food that’s unique to the island.

 

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Image source: peckishmonk.com

What gives Taiwan its individualistic character is also the fact that it is blessed with abundant produce. Being surrounded by the sea on all sides, it has a thriving aquaculture industry. Through advanced technology and extensive experience fishermen are able to offer fresh seafood on every gourmand’s table.

Taiwan’s unadulterated natural environment makes way for the cultivation of fresh and diverse food. The aboriginals, who were the first settlers on the island, still adopt the practice of foraging for food. They believe in giving back to nature whenever they’ve taken something away from it and that nature will continue to supply them with generous sustenance if they care for it in return. One of nature’s greatest gift to Taiwan is the abundance of fruits that grows there. The availability of sweet, fresh and fragrant local fruits have earned Taiwan the nickname of the “Fruit Kingdom”.

The local people use fruits in various ways to create some very creative dishes. Pineapple cakes or tarts, which are square shaped pastry filled with pineapple in a jam-like consistency, is one of the most loved snacks in all of Taiwan. The Moon of Taj Fruit Tarts, which have been crafted in four exotic flavours are a creative ode to the flavours of Taiwan from India. Latte & Butter, Green Tea & Mango, Cheese & Pineapple and Chocolate & Orange are the different flavours that use ingredients that are found aplenty in Taiwan and are especially loved by all local people. The fruit tarts have a fantastic texture as the crunchy outer crust gives way to a burst of fruity flavour inside. Another sweet that’s much sought after in Taiwan is the milk nougats. They are so popular that visitors also make sure to take these chewy goodness as souvenirs back home. The Moon of Taj Nougat, with its smoky fragrance and after taste, is a spruced up offering of the traditional Taiwanese sweet. Created using the finest ingredients like skimmed milk powder, California Almonds and pure desi ghee, the Moon of Taj Nougats represent the fusion of Taiwanese and Indian cuisine in a remarkable way.

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Both the Moon of Taj Fruit Tarts and the Moon of Taj Nougats are excellent dessert options for a gathering of family and friends and for special occasions like festivals and weddings. In fact, just like in India, the Taiwanese celebrate each occasion with a whole lot of food. Food forms such an important part of all functions, bringing together people from all walks of life. With the arrival of any festival, be it the Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival or the Lantern Festival and more, people get set to prepare a lavish selection of food. The Taiwanese people also offer food and drinks to the ancestors and gods. For example, during Tomb Sweeping Day each year, they clean the graves of their ancestors and bring foods especially cooked for offering and light incenses to honour the dead. The Taiwanese also believe that sharing food signifies equality and therefore, food is such a crucial factor in community building.

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From high-end restaurants to lengthy lanes dedicated to street food and which are open 24×7, Taiwan has so much to offer when it comes to fantastic fare. On the one hand they love experimenting with local and international flavours, and on the other they also remain steadfastly loyal to their tradition. While the Taiwanese love to eat, they also love to serve and share. This is the true beauty of Taiwanese food which is a grand celebration of community and life.

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