December 13, 2006

Episode II: World of Sensations


Asian food is one of those things that foreigner will be immediately impressed with, after arriving to this part of the world. Anybody who is sensitive and passionate about flavors, smells and art of preparing meals must recognize Asia as a place to be. I have no doubts about it.

To be honest with you, dear listeners, I need to say that Polish cuisine seems to me, as very poor and limited comparing to variety of choices I found here, in Taiwan. Let me tell you how traditional Polish dinner look like.
Usually we have a soup first. It is served in flat and much bigger bowls that are commonly used here. Most popular are: tomato soup, cucumber soup and cabbage soup. It can be pretty thick and fat, depends on whose grandmother is cooking. Main dish is often a piece of pork or beef with potatoes and boiled carrot or green peas.

People following vegetarian diet are facing many problems finding proper places to eat that kind of food in Poland. But fortunately it’s not an issue in Taiwan.

I was absolutely delighted after my first visit to a restaurant in Kaohsiung. People who are taking care of me took me there on the day of my arrival. Number of served goods was astonishing. I can’t even recall all the things I tried. I just know I enjoyed it a lot. Soup, rice, vegetables, fish, fruits. All, so much different to what I know from Europe.
Taiwanese cuisine presents wide selection of spices I have never heard about and tried before. Everyday I discover some new tastes, textures and flavors. It’s a fascinating travel through the world of sensations.

It will probably sound like a banal to you but I really like an idea of sharing food on the table. In Poland we always eat on separate plates. We don’t look at somebody’s food. Just eat what you have ordered. Having a meal in Taiwan is much more social activity. It’s simply easier to get closer to each other if you share the food.

In my opinion, diet based on fresh vegetables, fruits and sea-food is healthier than greasy, monotonous and full of hydro-carbons Polish or British cuisine. Concluding, there are not many better places for food then south of Taiwan. That’s another reason I’m happy to be here.
According to my one-year-long stay in Kaohsiung I made a commitment to myself. It’s not very serious but still demands some sacrifice. I will try to use chopsticks during my next 12 months here. OK, unless a meal really requires using fork and knife.

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