Day 015: The Day I Ate Snake
After a good long rest after my 24 hour first day I spend the afternoon working. Boo. But food is the main event, and night time is when the carts get cooking. Michael and Katherine decide to take me to Longshan to visit the grand temple. Not only grand, but functioning as an important local place to pray.
Longshan nightmarket accompanies the temple, and its not too be missed either. Instead of all the youth oriented night markets full of university students, and skinny tie-dyed jeans. Longshan is full of home goods, hairbrushes, tea, massages, and prostitutes. Its also the place to eat turtles and snake.
Listen for announcements of snakes medicinal benefits and looks for the cages of snakes and rats. Snake is good for your skin. Its served as a soup. Ours came with 3 shots of other beneficial liquids. One of shots was possibly snake blood, the other de-poisoned venom.
Snake tastes like chicken, but not as good. Snake tastes like bony chicken, with really not a lot of meat. Beyond its flavor, you feel bad eating snake, guilty. I was not hungry for snake, but the 8 year old tom boy in me wanted to.
Watermelon milk to wash it all down. Watermelon milk is coming back to the states with me.
The night markets have lots of little stands on the street. Usually you wait in line to get a serving. There are bigger stands, with kitchens, and seating. Like an outdoor restaurant. You sit elbow to elbow at tables and eat. Even if you can't read the menu you can still get food. A brave eater can just add hash marks next to the dishes you want to try and your table number. In my experience just pick on thing over $60 NT (about $2 US) and 1-2 under. Its a $5 investment and you're bound to get one thing right. Its a little easier than ordering if you don't speak much Chinese like me.
Tomatoes are dessert in Tawian. I sampled some sugar coated cherry tomatoes on a stick. Just like a candy apple, plus some dried plums in between. Taiwan enjoys dessert.
Finding the last empty pocket in my stomach I tried this gummy dried fish slab. Its really the only unpleasant food I've had in Taipei. A powerful fish flavor with a gummy grainy texture that gets stuck in your teeth. Not unlike a thick fish fruit roll-up. After chomping the whole thing in one bite I learned the virtue of nibbling new foods.