Another alternative is a bread maker. We use the bread maker to knead the dough and then but it in our oven. We have a Western style oven. Or you can just bake it in the bread maker but it comes out as a smaller loaf. The last bread maker we bought was at Costco. The prices on them have gone down through the years.
As far as cheese we usually go to Costco but as some have said they are not that crazy about the cheese there. Depends on what you like and where it is convenient to go.
If it's bread you're looking for, there's a FANTASTIC place called "Flavour Field" in the B2 level of the NEW Sogo at Zhongxiao - Fuxing MRT, the one that shares a building with the MRT station, not the one across the street. Their bread is fresh and tasty, no milky sweetness like so much of the other bread here. They have whole wheat, French country bread, rye bread, baguettes, and a whole slough of funky creations like bread baked with smoked chicken and edam cheese. They are cheap and very fresh. Downstairs on B3 is a place called "City Super" which is a very upscale supermarket that has a lot of wonderful things - all at insanely high prices. Carrefour is good for cheese, Costco is great.
It tastes like real edam to me. BTW, I'm a wine, cheese, and bread SNOB. I ain't talking about slimy trans-fat soaked milk-bread coated with cut up hot dogs and rank melamine mayo. This is good food. Recommend you try it before commenting further, unless you have psychic powers to judge bread quality without actually eating it.
I'v e eaten bread in Taiwan for the last 15 years, I know what they put in commercially made bread for mass consumption (preservatives, colorants, enzymes, vitamin C ...) , and I know about cheese ... fake cheese can taste like Edam and the stuff they use in most stuff is fake cheese, or part fake cheese that tastes like the real stuff, and don't think that cheese that didn't melt at 100C is the real thing ... and cheese that has melted and turned back solid isn't really that delicious ... ever had a cold pizza?
Belgian Pie: I am not arguing about the general bread supply in Taiwan. I am talking about the bread at one gourmet bakery. Have you tried the bread at Flavour Field? Until you have, I'd say you can't criticize it.
Do you really think they just use flour, yeast salt and water ... and real cheese ... it's a multiple chain company ... because they claim to be a 'Gourmet' bakery doesn't mean they are ... and I don't need to try it, taste doesn't reveal everything ... in Europe lot's of 'warm' bakers turn to flour mills to deliver them a convenient (flour mixes) product to increase the volume of their breads and 'improve' taste ... basically they achieve the opposite ... Taiwan is flooded with baking products importers that sell these products locally ...
Look, mate, I'll come to bloody Sanxia and eat at your bloody bakery. I'll even tell my students in Sanxia about you. But please be nice to Big John. He's not trying to pick a fight. He's just answering a question from a newbie.
Thursday. My class starts at seven. I'll come over the mountain on the 110 from Xindian. Where do I go?
Well, Beligian Pie, like I said before, try it out and let us know your expert opinion. I'll be happy to drop by your place if I'm in Sanxia. I never said Flavour Field was absolutely Halal Kosher Gold-seal pure heaven bread from the Lord. I said it was good food. If you think not, then again, check it out in person - as any food or wine critic would - and let us know. Until then, let's drop this pointless repetition. Cheerio.
Anyway, stop being such a fundamentalist! There's room for various tastes, surely? I've had some of the realest cheese and the breadiest bread you could ever hope to have, and liked it. And I've had supermarket Cheddar on Hovis with a couple of slices of tomato and enjoyed that a lot too.
I am looking forward to trying your new place sometime, if a heathen may be permitted to enter...
And I'm curious to try BigJohn's very very serious smoked chicken and Edam bread--seriously.
Look Beligian Pie: Let's say for now that your place is probably the best. If you are a die-hard purist than that is a safe assumption. But below that there is a range of other places, with your average bakery being the worst and places like Flavour Field being quite a bit better. For everyone's edification, maybe we can ask what FF puts in their bread and see if they'll tell us. I'll tell them I'm on on-line food reviewer (not a lie, but an exaggeration) and see if they provide recipe and provenance details. If you happen to stop by the city and want to check FF out, I would like to hear your opinion. Just remember not to grin or giggle around the smoked chicken and Edam bread please. It is not appropriate.
I miss Morrisons! Blocks and tubs and rounds of cheese of various degrees of authenticity. Wholemeal and pita and ciabatta and white sliced galore. Pints of organic yoghurt for 99p. Dirt cheap organic carrots, potatoes, and bananas. And everything in tins or packs as "buy one get one free!"
My Mum hates Morrisons. But I think the ones down south aren't as good as the original ones.