Taiwan Markets: Looking for something delightful or different to eat?
I described how you can find a lot of good food in the Taiwan Markets, Taiwan certainly has plenty of local night markets. Though I wondered how much money local vendors can make running a stall or store in one night market . But I didn’t do much of a comprehensive review of what I could find… Until now.
What are the Taiwan Markets like?
Follow me! I took many of these photographs in low light conditions with my new camera, after losing my old Kodak, so the pictures aren’t poster perfect at all. I’m still learning how to get the best from the camera, and I think I’m going to need some help in that area!
On Saturday, after class, my wife and I went up to Tamsui for exercise, and some fun, and to explore night markets in Taiwan. We also went shopping on the main shopping area , as well as for dinner.
In Tamsui, the shops are divided into two basic zones: general shops and restaurants, and tourist shops and restaurants. On Saturday, we went to the general area and I walked up that street, taking lots of pictures of the treats that are available from vendors there. This would be one of the local Taiwan markets for street food.
And it all started with a vendor on the corner of Yingchuan Street in Tamsui, which you can see in the map, and I’ve linked to from Google, just click on the name. We walked there in the early evening after finishing an earlier walk, just as it was getting dark, so the lighting isn’t so good.
Taiwan markets are famous for their Little Eats, a literal translation of the word, perhaps night markets snacks would be better. And most big towns and cities have somewhere that is the center of such treats. In the night markets in Taiwan, surprisingly, it was the street that served locals, not tourists!
This is the first one on the corner I saw, and the vendor is selling baked Yams which are eaten hot. They’re usually pretty sweet and hot. But quite tasty. You can see the vendors head just behind the big iron urn.
After seeing him, I then found this lady who was selling a small rice noodle dish amongst other things. I don’t particularly like these kind of things, so I didn’t go closer to have a look.
Up the road, as the light was fading, I came across a vendor selling BBQ Corn on the Cob. There are a variety of cobs available in Taiwan, including the normal yellow sweetcorn, but there are also ones with larger and paler corn, a black variety and several others as well. I usually prefer the cobs that are steamed or boiled myself, but there weren’t any vendors selling them tonight.
A little further up the street, this guy was selling deep fried chicken wings, legs and other assorted things. These are my favorite and they are usually a lot better than anything KFC serves. Of course, you don’t get Coke with them or a bun, but hey, this is one of the well known Taiwan markets, not Burger King! It’s different here. And quite delicious.
This vendor was selling Chestnuts. They’re a little pricy this year, but when winter comes, these are one of my wife’s favorites. Really! And they’re good, too.
I can’t describe exactly what this is, but it’s a popular local delicacy that is a kind of meat dumpling that is made then cooked, then soaked *(yes, perhaps I mean ‘marinaded’ in vegetable oil). It translates literally as meat ball, but it’s anything but that. I never tried it.
On this stall, you can try a variety of tofu products, chicken parts (including feet, wings, legs), duck parts (including tongues, heads, and so on!) and cow intestines. Most popular night markets have at least one or two vendors selling these kinds of products. They’re considered a delicacy.
After all that food, it’s time for a nice lemonade. And this stall is a well known local vendor who makes a strong but sweet concoction. It’s great in summer. I was offered some once as a trial. I thought it would be terrible, but it was really sweet and sour at the same time. Quite refreshing on a hot day.
Shenken is famous for its Stinky Tofu products, and this store in Tamsui was able to make the tofu and stuff it with vegetables and fillings. Then they’d barbecue it for a while before selling it. Served with a spicy sauce, it’s quite popular; yet again, it’s something I have not tried.
The store in the next picture sells duck heads and other digestibles, but it’s actually a popular food from DongShan province, I think, in China. The foods were all dark or black in color, and there was a large queue outside waiting to buy, I had to shove in to get this picture.
The Taiwan Markets at night are quite vibrant, and for most Westerners provide a glimpse at some unusual edibles not available in most regular restaurants. However, much of the snack food presents a challenge for us. I would definitely encourage visitors to be brave, close your eyes, and just try some of the things on offer here. You would be surprised what tastes good! And you might have a story to tell or a blog to post, into the bargain.
No tourists were poisoned in the making of this post.