14/365寫作計畫 — 每個人都有自己心目中的米干 Everyone has their own Mi-kan
- Project: My daily life, Your Secret Place
- Location: Zhong-Zhen traditional market, Long-Gang district, Taoyuan City
The entrance of Zhong-Zhen traditional market is identical to other traditional markets in Taiwan, at least for me. Therefore, I had never been there though I had been to Long-Gang for couple of times.
However, once I entered this place, I immediately found something erotic, which was a restaurant selling Yunnan / Thai staple food inside, a kind of steamed dumpling outside. The dumpling is consisted of layers of “SU YO”, refined liquidized butter, and gets “PO”, cracked, after steaming, so got the name as “POSU” bao.
Then I realized there are a wide variety of vegetables and meats which are rare in other markets.
This is winged bean, also known as the goa bean, four-angled bean, four-cornered bean, manila bean, princess bean, cigarrillas, asparagus bean, dragon bean.
Eggplant version 1
Eggplant version 2
Eggplant version 3!
In Zhong-Zhen traditional market, I was able to see various eggplants except the one I used to eat and purchase in supermarkets. The tour guide explained that the locals eat these kinds of eggplant in raw with SUPER spicy paste, around 3 times more spicier than Taiwanese can bear, with staple food as their breakfast while commuting. The smaller eggplant’s size is, the more portable it is, so their eggplants become smaller and smaller.
After hanging around in the market for almost 2 hours, we headed for the next destination, the locals' classroom and activity center. Our guide was a Thai/Yunnan chef who grew up in Taiwan, so he was familiar with the food and ingredients in these 3 countries. At the center, we were able to give a taste of so many different plants in raw and to see their appearances before chopping.
Later, the other tour guide introduced us the common seasonings in their cuisine. There are some seasonings Taiwanese use a lot, such as cinnamon, black pepper, anise, cumin seeds, and other seasonings which we had never taste before, such as cardamom, fennel, bay leaves, clove, etc.
Right after the tour guide invited us to bite the seeds, I put them inside my mouth and was shocked for the strong flavor. It taught me not to eat something unfamiliar in a big mouth.
We also had the chance to smell the grounded seeds, which with much stronger flavor, some even produce different flavors! The guide said the flavor changes again after heating or frying. So admire how wise they are and how deep they know about seasonings!
Lunchtime! The staff prepared several erotic dishes, sharing with us how those plants turn into delicious food, such as sweet and salty POSU bao, green papaya salad I different level of spiciness, spicy oil which is not spicy but tingly, fermented rice with strong alcoholic flavor, Green Nyonya Cake, triple color Nyonya Cake, sour sausage with raw cabbage and chili pepper, and so on and so forth. When the last dish served, we all agreed it was too much for a meal and we were unable to eat anything anymore.
To Be Continued…