The Chinese saying "above are the heavens and on earth are Suzhou and Hangzhou" (上有天堂，下有蘇杭) can be traced to the Tang dynasty when Hangzhou was the largest city in the world and, according to contemporary accounts, had palaces unparalleled in their opulence and filled with the most beautiful women in the whole realm.
It's been many centuries since Hangzhou or Suzhou enjoyed any semblance of the glory of those days, but the cities' storied pasts live on through literature and the rich culinary tradition of Jiang-Zhe cuisine, named for Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces where the cities are located.
The Su-Hang Snack Shop, on a rather drab section of Roosevelt Road near Guting MRT Station is far from the Jiang-Zhe region and not palatial. It is a small eatery where the simple wonders of this regional food are painstakingly upheld with the emphasis placed on taste over presentation or decor. Now in its third generation, the restaurant is one of those humble hole-in-the-wall institutions serving great food to locals in the know.
PHOTO: MAX WOODWORTH, TAIPEI TIMES
One of the shop's most famous dishes is its tofu and pork vermicelli noodle soup. Its clear broth is light and bursting with flavor while a fistful of assorted greens adds some needed texture and color to this simple dish. The tofu is the highlight here, though, with two large chunks sliced into bite-size pieces that soak up the broth for a delicious combination of flavors.
The other major highlight of the shop is its Su-Hang-style steamed dumplings. There is stiff competition in Taipei for steamed dumplings, with world-rated restaurants Ting-Tai Feng and Kao Ji practically down the road, but Su-Hang holds its own in this category, with a strong, but thin dumpling skin and wonderfully juicy pork inside. The shrimp and pork dumplings are exceptional as well.
People also line up at the store for its hot and sour soup, which can be ordered with noodles. Though not always to everyone's taste, the hot and sour soup here hits a pleasing balance of these two tastes with a hint of sweetness to ease its bite.
Su-Hang Snack Shop is known as much for its above-average food as for its fair prices, which keeps its 24 seats occupied throughout most of the day and certainly at lunch and dinner times. But service is quick and turnover is high, so waiting a short while for a chance to try their food is well worth anyone's time.
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.