Do you generally have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the taste of Taiwanese food, compared to the food you’ve experienced in most other countries?
“Taiwanese” here will be defined by whatever the general population in Taiwan considers “Taiwanese” (i.e. Not Cantonese, Japanese, or Italian restaurants in Taiwan). Please do not consider groceries or home-cooked meals that are not for sale.
I guess this poll technically isn’t for me. Though if my living around the world has taught me anything, is that there are delicious and crap foods in every country. If we apply the constraints of this poll to other places, and exclude Indian, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, SEA places in the US and Europe, then I think affordable food get crappy really quickly, even if we consider taco bars and pizza joints American or Middle Eastern food European.
For me, there are more varieties of affordable food (both meat and veggies) that I enjoy everyday in Taiwan. While there is a lot of food that can be great to have once in a while, some just drive you nuts when you have it day after day. For me, the biggest challenge living in Europe and the US is that veggies mostly come in salad form. I just can’t do cold salads everyday.
How about food already common to at least a good portion of the locals prior to the Vietnam War, and new variations derived from those foods? By the way, that would include at least parts of the Japanese cuisine.
I think a lot of issues with different culture food is just what people are accustomed to when they were growing up. I had a Taiwanese friend visit us while we were in the states. Took them to all kinds of places. His one complaint was he didn’t like the sour cream in his baked potato.
Grandma also visited. Took her to a nice Mexican restaurant. Ordered chicken enchiladas. That didn’t go over too well either.
Also remembered one time where one of my coworkers said they never had menudo. We went and he tried it and didn’t like it at all. This was in Texas where Mexican food is very common.
Had different co-worker that never tried pho. Went and ordered him just the basic one with just meat. Not the one with all the tripe, tendon and what not. Took one sip of the soup and said nope.
One food that I never quite understood was Somosa. Every time someone hosted a party, someone would bring somosa. Most people were say how great they were, not sure if they were being polite. I didn’t care for them at all.
“Favourable” and “unfavourable” are a bit broad and don’t say much, but I went with “favourable”. That said, I do think it’s overrated. When I first moved to Taiwan, I thought it was the best thing ever, as I guess most new arrivals and tourists do, but it didn’t take very long for the novelty to wear off and realise it isn’t that good or diverse. But I’ve never lived long term in any other foreign country, so I wonder if the same thing would eventually happen if I lived long term somewhere I think the food is amazing like Japan or India.
It has been my experience that many Taiwanese people who didn’t have the opportunity to sample food from around the world until after graduating from college are terrible at appreciating new food they come across.
They typically don’t enjoy Indian food, cheese with actual flavor, savory beans, anything with too much spices (guess that’s why they hate Indian food), things that are too sour (some Thai, sour cream, sinigang, even plain yogurt) and so on.
Same here. After the honeymoon phase ends, reality sets in. After you go to one of the bigger night markets, you realize they are all about the same. 95% of the same stuff can be found in each one. There isn’t much different in the “best” beef noodle shop vs the average one. Same can be said for all the other foods like oyster omelet, milk tea, and other common foods.
Yet you will see people lined up for hours to try it. The most baffling to me is the lines for very common stuff like chicken egg cake. Is it really worth waiting for 1 hour to get chicken egg cake from that specific vendor when you can find another one within a 5 minute walk in any direction?
What is there to love about somosa? Fried? Greasy? Not even sure what the filling is.
Today the most common filling is potatoes with spices and some peas, which is not at all similar to the original filling of the Mughal sanbusah, which was meat, since it was going to take a bit more time before the Europeans could bring potatoes from South America to India back in the 1500s. The crust of a well-made samosa is also very tasty. I like the flaky kind, and less of the crispy kind.
I don’t “hate” it. When there is a table full of food, it’s just not something i’m going to put on my plate. Things I will get before samosa. Pizza, fried chicken, chips, celery sticks, carrot sticks, chicken nuggets, fruits, egg roll, fajitas, burgers, sandwiches…
But still people will go crazy when another brand shows up and line up until after dark.
And about food, my first two wedding invites was like wow, good food, but after the third you realize that the twelve dishes they serve are mostly identical to the one you got at the other weddings. Same for other ‘official’ parties, same menu.
And people will go mad at the end to take leftovers home in plastic baggies.
I also realized that family meals used to include the same stuff at all meals, fish, meat rice, tomato-egg, same boring green vegetable. Sometimes, hey, dumplings or glass/bean noodles, rice noodles.
And as I many times said, if they call to try ‘famous’ food, prepare to be disappointed.