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Monday, August 24, 2015

Taiwanese Aboriginal Cuisine: A Taste of Crickets

The quick scan of Taiwanese history is not short or without interesting stories. From native island dwellers, the influx of mainland Chinese immigrants, and Japanese rule, Taiwan is a melting pot of cultures with a unique cuisine. My cousin took us to an aboriginal themed restaurant. There was a show of singing, dancing, and drumming to entertain us during our meal. We were lucky enough to not get pulled into the line dance so we could observe from afar. I'm not opposed to dancing, but I am a bigger fan of eating.
The dancers were starting their slow descend on unsuspecting diners in order to turn them into dancers. *It was really that bad, but I wanted to eat crickets.
Here's some hot rock shrimp. They shrimp and hot rocks were covered and steamed.
These are baby corn in the husk that have been grilled. It was all the fun of eating corn on the cob wrapped up in a tiny package.
If you're going to squeamish about crickets on my blog, you should probably try some first. Crickets are surprisingly crunchy crouton-like. They add a very lovely dimension to dishes. Think of them like mini-lobsters. 
Squid is a big thing here. Everywhere you turn around, there's squid in a dish. It is a great thing that I'm quite fond of squid. Here it is with some basil.
Whole roasted chicken. This was exceptionally tasty.
Salt crusted whole fish was on the menu, and it was fantastic. I've raved about the quality of the seafood before, and I'll do it again. When you have access to fresh seafood, you can't help but to have it as often as you can and to love it.
Bell peppers, tofu, and sauce. This is a pretty standard Asian style dish.
Another popular set up in Taiwan are personal size propane burners for soup at the table.
And pretty standard Asian barbeque and sausage served with raw garlic and onions.
And this is one of the best noodle dishes I've had. The rice and noodle dishes here didn't look that much different from dishes I've had before. The difference seems to be that the level of umami is through the roof as compared to the same dishes I've had before.

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