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8th issue by YZU on October 2007

I am Mathias M.C. Mailosi from Malawi in southern Africa and I am currently studying in the department of Agricultural Economics at National Taiwan University (NTU) as a graduate student. My program of study is International Agricultural Policy Development and Management

Before I arrived in Taiwan, many friends advised me that the food here was different. They never quite fully explained why, so I came here with a vague idea about the organoleptic characteristics (flavor, smell and texture) of the Taiwanese cuisine. Before I came, the only taste experience I’ve had was the “Chinese food” offered in my country, fried rice, chop suey, eggrolls, chow mein and sweet and sour pork, which later I discovered was only the tip of the iceberg of the culinary art characterized by diverse, healthy and tasty.

It is difficult for me to distinguish the most delicious Taiwanese food or my favorite Taiwanese food. I’ve been here for a month, today. I tasted many Taiwanese foods and I think those that I have eaten so far are all good, delicious, and I classified all of them as my favorite Taiwanese foods. All of them are good! When I am having trouble with identifying or naming which foods can be the favorite one, I usually let my stomach do the honor and make the selection. So, my theory is, always trust your gut! If your gut is making sounds, it means trouble, but otherwise, be quiet, sit down, and welcome the foods your stomach selected for you.

My favorite Taiwanese food is Chow Fan, this is fried rice, it consist of vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, sweet pepper, and onions it can be combined with any type of meat that one prefer such as chicken , pork, beef or sea food, all these ingredients are fried with white rice that have already been cooked, some soy sauce and other seasonings are placed to give the meal a better taste however, chow fan can also be eaten as vegetable fried rice if one does not eat meat.

Kabore come from Burkina, I am always appreciating the food because everybody needed to eat food in the best sanitation in order to develop his body until the last day you leave this earth. I came in Taiwan.

I know that most of Taiwanese foods is contained lot of sugar, fruits, rice, fishes, beefs and others sea-foods which I do not know. But I already traveled in others Asia’ countries, Taiwan food is also the same food in Japan even if there is a few difference. I have usually to eat some of kinds but it is difficult for me to select and know what kind of Taiwanese food is? I must take to balance my energy. Nevertheless I think that honestly I have no problem to modify my diet, I am simple and ease to eat very well if the opportunity is offered me.

Many questions came to my mind when thinking about the kind of food I will have to eat for the next two years, during my stay in Taiwan.

My first experience exposure to Taiwanese meals happened while flying from L.A. Airport to Taoyuan Airport for twelve long hours. “This had to be the first chance to start getting used to Taiwanese cuisine, I thought.”

My experience in Taiwan as a whole has been amazing. There are aspects in this incredible experience that have been tough to get used to. However, my food experience in Taiwan definitely has been a challenge. My classmates and I are still searching around campus for more restaurants which are not too different from our preferences. We have a favorite one that is called Morning Time, too bad that kind of far from campus.

Before left Guatemala, I ask my self to me: What can it be so different betwen Taiwanese flavors to the Guatemalans flavors? and sincerely these are better than I imagined, in these four weeks that I've lived in Taiwan I have tried some Taiwanese typical meals and drinks, and although if it is certain that the flavors are not so equal to the flavors that i used to eat in my home country, I already like these flavors. Even that already I have had some surprises, for example a few days ago i went to have lunch to a restaurant near KSU wich has a name that i cannot read but we've called it “Chino Rico” , i saw in the menu a dish that looked like one of my favorite food in Guatemala, i thought that it was salty but it wasn't, it was a sweet one, and and cold one too, and then... a thought came to my head: as foreign “I must to have open mind” but i was so hungry, i order another one (rice with chicken), “ji rou fan” and even although is not a Taiwanese typical food.