Taiwan is a land of culinary delights, one of the many reasons I love it here. From the night market to the fancy bistro, there is a world of possibilities. Today I talk about some of the sweeter choices.
During the warmer nights of spring and summer, I love to walk around the night market snacking with my friends. One of my sweeter favorites is Taiwanese ice cream burrito. This wonderful item combines a crepe, ice cream, shaved peanut brittle, and some coriander. Flavors range depending on the vendor, they may include chocolate, vanilla, taro, pineapple, or red bean. My favorite is 2 scoops of taro and a pineapple.
Other items to enjoy at the night market are pancake-batter like pastries filled with items like red beans, custard, meat (getting away from the sweet theme a bit.) They come in normal circle shapes, animals, and even penis-shaped (we're really keeping it classy today.) I'm a fan of custard filled in non-awkward shapes.
Moving away from the night market. We reach one of my newer finds I-baked cookies. At this store, you get control of your ice cream sandwich destiny. You pick any two of their thirteen cookies, combine it with one of their six ice creams, and you have your creation. For around NT$90 (US$3) it's quite the steal. They also have some ice cream floats from the classic root beer to sprite and mint ice cream, but these I have yet to explore.
This sudden obsession with sweet things does not come from out of nowhere however. A few months ago a friend of mine started a "cake club." We try out a new patisserie each weekend, sampling about 8-12 of their cakes. This is done without too much of a sugar rush as usually, 4-6 people go, and we split the cakes amongst us. Add a cup of tea or coffee and good conversation, and it's a wonderful weekend gathering. Below are just a small selection of the cakes we've conquered.
**Side note a cake club dedicated blog may be in the works soon!**
Finally, this new-born sweets exploration has caused me to stop occasionally at the department store food courts and peruse the various stores and bakeries in the food courts. Here are a few of my recent tries.
Anna Cocoa Art Macaroons
Le Salon Macaroons
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