Night Markets

One of the lesser known features of Taiwan is the Night Market. I made sure to go out every night and experence this event.
It’s pretty much what you are thinking, a series of store fronts with stalls set up by vendors in front of closed store fronts. Food and clothing are sold to the people in the crowded streets. It’s a place to see and be seen, so it is usually a pretty young crowd. The streets are qutite narrow, so the people flow like a river. Unlike back home, the street isn’t closed, most traffic avoids the area, but it’s not uncommon to have to dodge the occational scooter.
During the day, the market area isn’t too busy, there are a few store fronts which are open, but it seems that most of them wait until after dark to open up. It really gives a different character to the street, in fact, it’s as if they are two different parts of town.
There are all kinds of venders, some of them are popular, and some of them are not. In one market, I saw a vendor pack up and move to a new location, probably angeling for a better catch in the sea of people.
One place caught my attention, they would be super busy, then dead, and then super busy again. I discovered that they were baking bread, somthing like a huge dinner roll, and they would run out of product until the next batch was done. The bread was ok, but I think that they were popular because they stuffed a generous helping of butter into the roll before serving it.
Juice shops are also very popular. They combine various fruits together for you. Some shops are a one juice shop, while others offer quite a selection.
There is something which I will call Taiwanese Pizza, It starts off with a pancake like disk of bread which the chef beats to death with a couple of spatulas on top of the grittel. Amazingly, it still maintains its disk shape. Added to this is egg, and various toppings, then it is folded in half and served hot.
Another treat you won’t find elsewhere, or at least I have yet to see it elsewhere, is the fruit kabab. I don’t know what they call it, but they take fruit, say strawberries, and slide them over a skewer. Then they add a candy coating, which is hard and crunchy, but melts in your mouth almost instantly. One of the favorite fruits is the cherry tomato, and yes, technically, tomatos are fruits. I tried one of these and it was really good.
By far, my favorite food is the dumpling. At every night market I go in search of the dumpling place. Sometimes they are easy to find, sometimes impossible (they are there, but I am not yet a seasoned dumpling hound). My favorites are actually more like buns than doublings. The dough is steamed and turns into a nice fluffy bread, and inside is a meaty surprise.

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2 Responses to “Night Markets”

  1. Mariko Kishikawa Says:

    Did you meet taiwanese friends yet?

  2. spitefulapparatus Says:

    I met some nice people at the hostel on my last night. It would have been nice t have met them eailer so that we could have explored the city together. Sometimes the timing is off.

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