Taiwan’s social history can be tasted in its food, and its cuisine is a grand mix of Asian traditions. The Japanese period brought with it a love for sashimi, wasabi and other Japanese flavours. The huge variety of tofu is a culinary testament to the people who fled the communists from every corner of China and brought with them their own local specialities. And from the more distant past there are influences from the original Chinese settlers, the aboriginals, the Polynesians.
But because there are so many different styles, ingredients and traditions all mixed together, Taiwanese food is slightly lacking in character. It is neither sweet nor sour, savoury nor spicy, and at the cheaper end of the scale, the dominant flavour is MSG.
But don't be disheartened! There are still many Taiwanese classics which will leave you with both a sense of satisfaction and a craving for more.
Click the links below to find out more about Eating and the food of Taipei