I’ve finally made it to posts about Taiwan — YAY! My first morning in Taipei, my sister JS went out and bought our favorite Taiwanese breakfast: fried dough (you tiao) surrounded by sesame bread (xiao bing), a rice ball (fan tuan) stuffed with you tiao, pickles, and dried pork, and soy milk. We always end up getting this breakfast during the first part of our trip, when we’re jet lagged and waking up at 5 or 6am. This is because the neighborhood breakfast stall sells out of fan tuan around 8am, after the morning rush.
What’s funny is that it seems like many cultures have their versions of fried dough that are dipped in a hot beverage. In the U.S., it’s donuts and coffee. In Latin America, it’s churros and hot chocolate. In Taiwan (and China), it’s you tiao and soymilk. The big difference with you tiao is that it’s not sweet like donuts and churros; it’s just fried, airy, crispy awesomeness.
(Side note: a wikipedia article claims that churros were derived from you tiao. Interesting!)
For most of my trip, I didn’t have exotic/fancy breakfasts. My standard breakfast was toast and scrambled eggs. Once in a while, I’d buy some delicious pastries or rolls from any one of the many bakeries (sorry, no photos). I tried to pace myself, since there was so much I wanted to eat the rest of the day. Stayed tuned for those meals!