Taiwanvore Digest #15 – November 2014

At last, I visited the infamous Monkey Mountain. Although the trail is more of an intensive walk than hiking, I still felt it’d be nice to have a walking stick, but came unprepared, so what an unexpected pleasant surprise it was to see some fallen branches repurposed as wooden sticks at the start of the trail (from Gushan High School), free for anyone to use.

This is quite embarrassing, posting this more than a week into December, so much that I’m not publicizing it on my twitter, haha, hoping it goes unnoticed 😬. If I haven’t been the most punctual with those monthly digests, I still mean to keep up the series until the end of the year, and will review later how to do those monthly roundups… we shall see.

November is/was the month of Thanksgiving, so thank you for your readership, 感謝 for taking the time to leave comments and/or engage on twitter, and brownie points to those sharing articles that piqued your interest. :) Continue reading Taiwanvore Digest #15 – November 2014

Food Vocabulary in Taiwanese/Minnan

One dish on the menu of Old-Style Dongpo Pork 東坡鮮肉飯 is “written in Taiwanese”, can you guess which one? ;)

Recently, I made the soft resolution to learn Taiwanese, just to be a bit more aware of my surroundings. And last Friday, while attending Chen Chu‘s re-election rally (more out of curiosity than of partisanship), I was clearly reminded of how useful that’d be since 99.99% of the speeches were given in Taiwanese 😖. Nevertheless, the event was quite jolly, with artists and local officials taking turns performing Taiwanese songs, and even a mini night-market setup for the occasion. Amazingly, I think I managed to get the gist of what elected officials were enthusiastically babbling about, so I guess, I’ve been unconsciously learning Taiwanese all along. Continue reading Food Vocabulary in Taiwanese/Minnan

Ah-Wan Yanshuei I Mien – 雄好呷 #028 (khh)

Welcome to Ah-Wan, pioneer of the i mien in Kaohsiung.
Welcome to Ah-Wan, pioneer of the i mien in Kaohsiung.

These days, when it comes time to eat, I catch myself asking my own self 「呷麵或呷飯?」, which I loosely translate as 「am I in the mood for some noodles or rice?」, as the first question of my “What to eat?” decision process. Clearly, this is a sign that I’ve lived in Taiwan for a long time already, or as I prefer to view it, a sign that I am becoming Taiwanese, 😱! Someday, I may post a listicle of all those Taiwanese traits that have crept into me, but for now, that’ll just be another draft sitting on the back-burner.

So what’s it gonna be, noodles or rice? Usually, it’s been noodles, in particular Ah-Wan Yanshuei I Mien 阿萬鹽水意麵, tucked in the old Sanmin Street 三民街. The neighborhood is not flamboyantly touristy by any means, but it has some palpable history and good food to be found. Somehow, the atmosphere reminds me a little of the Wanhua area in Taipei, albeit, less crowded. If only it didn’t take me 20-30 minutes to bike there, amidst crazy scooter traffic and pollution, I think I’d hang out more often in that area. Wait, bike 20-30 minutes (and add 20-30 minutes for the way back!) for a simple bowl of noodles, do I have that much time to spare or are those noodles just crazy good? Continue reading Ah-Wan Yanshuei I Mien – 雄好呷 #028 (khh)

Getting Ready for RAW

RAW, André Chiang’s  latest venture, will inaugurate with a soft opening, running from November 20th to December 8th, so the press this week has started warming up the PR stage. Taiwan’s GQ interviewed him on the objective and vision of the new restaurant, and TVBS aired an hour-long TV program retracing the chef’s career. If your Chinese listening comprehension fares better than your reading, you can get the gist of his auto-biographical book Original Intentions 初心 by catching-up on the TV show (below).

Continue reading Getting Ready for RAW

[FYI] Independent Dairy Farms in Taiwan

Map of a some of the independent dairy farms in Taiwan. (fb/楊靈)
Map of some of the independent dairy farms in Taiwan. Click on the map for a more comprehensive list. (fb/楊靈)

Have you jumped on the boycott bandwagon and banned Ting Hsin’s subsidiary milk brand 林鳳營 (unfortunate for the impacted milk producers, who humm, I imagine were not directly involved with the oil snafu), and now feeling like a lost sheep not knowing who to buy milk from?

To remedy this situation, some Taiwanese netizens joined forces and put together a list of independent dairy farms. I’m actually quite surprised at the number of farms out there, having heard of only four out of the eleven on the map, and there exists many many more. As far as I understand it, milk from an independent farm is usually considered as more trustworthy and of better quality because it is produced and packaged on the premises, instead of having it sent to a cooperative where milk from different sources are pooled together. Maybe the former also treats their cows better and gives them better feed, or not, I haven’t investigated that far, so can’t attest to those facts. :|

Those independent farms usually enjoy a good reputation, and even with significantly higher selling prices, obtaining a bottle from one of those brands can sometimes lend itself to participating in a round of the hunger games. Just try buying a jug of milk from the NTU Dairy Farm 台大牧場, people in the know will swarm in the tiny store whenever it stocks up, and then mayhem ensues for the next few minutes. That’s at least what I’ve witnessed on my visit. 4ways milk 四方牧場 is another dairy brand that I’ve heard of, they’ve had especially good press for upcyling their cow manure, growing their own hay, and producing cheese, yes, Made in Taiwan CHEESE!😍 Last time I ate at Yasaimura, I saw a batch of 4ways bottles coming in, there must have been a dozen (or maybe more), and all except for one had already been called for, that just goes to show its popularity.

I rarely buy milk these days, so I’m not vouching for any brand in particular, but I thought this information could be of interest for the lactose tolerant of you. It’s good to be aware of our choices. Cheers! 😼

This article is sponsored by the Formosan Association for Informed Consumers. :bear: