I am heading to Taiwan for the first time, and I particularly anticipate my stay at Taipei. I have heard great things about the country, so I decided to do some research to learn more about the country and its rich cultural traditions.
I am looking forward to exploring the traditional Chinese culture blended with Japanese Confucianism beliefs with increasingly Western values. It is no surprise that locals inherited culinary tradition from any nation that they got introduced.
Since Taiwan has all four seasons, farming has played a significant role in the economy, culinary and life sustainability and health. Some of the most harvested crops are rice, betel nuts, fruits (such as banana, grape, guava, jujube, watermelon and sugarcane that is surprising to me), and vegetables.
It is not surprising that tea has strong roots in Taiwanese culture. Taiwan is well known for the production of black and green tea. Taiwan tea farmers have been mainly focusing on the creation of oolong tea and its varieties such as Dongding, Pouchong (or Baozhong), Oriental Beauty (Dongfang Meiren), Iron Goddess (Tie Guanyin), High Mountain (Gao Shan) and Osmanthus Oolong tea.
Apart from high tea consumption, Taiwanese people also produce high-quality arabica coffee. Therefore, there is no surprise to why there is a strong coffee culture.
If we look into alcoholic beverages, we can not forget Kavalan whisky, which is globally well recognised. Some of the beers in Taiwan includes rice in the fermentation process to create a smoother and sweeter style.
Taiwanese indigenous tribes are also keeping traditions alive with alcohol-making. They are known to produce millet based liquor which is usually cloudy that taste quite sweet and often drunk as an aperitif or digestif.
Lastly, Taiwan’s single most famous liquor is called Kaoliang, which I will introduce to you in next article.
Bartenders note: “The oolong teas, indigenous groups shall be your inspiration.”