The oyster omelet was selected as the snack that best represents Taiwan, followed by pearl milk tea, according to the results of a recent survey released by Global Views Monthly magazine.
Pearl milk tea was followed by oyster vermicelli, stinky tofu and braised pork rice, according to the survey, which was conducted via telephone from May 4 to May 9 on 500 men and 500 women around the nation.
Other items to get a mention included rice meat balls, rice dumplings, dan-tsai noodles, beef noodles, small steamed buns, rice noodles and bowl cakes, the survey said.
The survey also suggested that almost 70 percent of Taiwanese adults eat out frequently, with a higher ratio of men doing so than women.
The magazine estimated that 3.3 million Taiwanese adults eat out everyday.
The trend is most common among those within the 20 to 29 age group, with more than 35 percent of people in this group not having meals at home everyday, the survey said.
Quoting figures from the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the magazine said that each family on average spent NT$50,000 (US$1,515) eating out last year, meaning that the total expenditure by Taiwan's more than 7 million households on eating out amounted to NT$36 billion for the year.
The survey found that lunch was the meal that the largest percentage of respondents regularly enjoy outside the home, with 78.7 percent doing so, followed by breakfast, with 66.8 percent of respondents usually eating their morning meal outside.
As for the kind of places where people eat lunch, 59.6 percent of respondents mentioned lunch boxes, noodle eateries and snack bars.
Other popular choices for the hungry included cafeterias, restaurants and luncheonettes, as well as roadside food stands and food wagons.