CNN’s “Travel the World with CNN” site this week published a list of “45 Taiwanese foods we can’t live without” — with braised pork rice (滷肉飯) topping the list.
“Food: it’s serious, it’s respected, it’s all excellent in Taiwan,” the article posted on CNNGo on Tuesday says, updating a list first published in June 2012.
The list covers night market and street stall favorites, as well as encouraging visitors to try Taiwan-bred goose, a bian dang (boxed meal, 便當) or the lychee-rose bread made by Wu Pao Chun Bakery.
Braised pork rice was cited for its unique combination of sweet and salty.
Beef noodle soup placed second on the list, while oyster omelets (蚵仔煎) came in one place behind.
Every chef has their own recipe for making a good bowl of beef noodle soup, and each covets the title of “beef noodle king” in Taipei’s annual beef noodle festival, the article said.
Bubble milk tea won fourth place on the list.
The beverage, with chewy tapioca balls, quickly became a hit in Taiwan after its debut in 1998 and the range of flavors for both the teas and the tapioca have expanded since then.
Milkfish fillets (虱目魚排) came in at number five, with the article noting there is even a museum devoted to milkfish in Greater Tainan’s Anping Distirct (安平) and a milkfish festival in Greater Kaohsiung.
Other items rated on the list include danzai noodles (擔仔麵), sheng chian bao (生煎包), pineapple cakes, sun cakes (太陽餅), rice meatballs (肉圓), Taiwanese-style fried chicken yansuji (鹽酥雞), flaky scallion pancake (蔥抓餅), stinky tofu (臭豆腐), yams (地瓜), shaved ice (刨冰山), xiaolungbao (小籠包) and mochi (麻糬).
The names and addresses of one or two sources is given for each item on the list, with places ranging from Taipei to Greater Kaohsiung to Nantou County, though for a couple of the spots it still refers to Greater Taichung as Taichung County.
Additional reporting by staff reporter