Thursday, November 4, 2010

Banqiao,Taiwan: Feeling Taiwanese Locals' Warmth and Taste!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



I will always be grateful for the warm hospitality extended to me by my CS host Chloe's parents during our visit yesterday in Tucheng City, near Banqiao (Banciao),Taiwan, southwest of Taipei.

While Tucheng and Banqiao are not much of a tourist destinations, it will always be special to me. I was lucky that I came in at a time during Chloe's scheduled visit to her parents.

When we arrived, my mouth was busy, and my palate was apt in exploring new tastes as I devoured Chloe's mom's lotza lotza food. I don't remember the Taiwanese names of every food I tasted, but I know its pinoy counterpart from fruits to appetizers to main dish - guava java, pomelo, castanas , san fernando (it is like gabi which abounds in Bicol),bihon mixed with rice, meat balls soup and chicken tinola. Yes, Taiwanese cuisine is not unfamiliar after all!

After the sumptuous lunch, the family decided to go to Costco (where Chloe buys most of her stuff for her condo). Oh! How I love Costco and eating all the free food samples! But it has been almost two (2) years since I last visited the one in San Franscisco,CA for my favorite Black Forest gummy bears and Kirkland mixed nuts!

A little bit of excitement hit me as we entered the store. Anticipation built up as the smells in the air made even my not-so hungry stomach growled. With Chloe's mom, I kept snacking every free food samples with a style - desserts followed by drinks then meats (except beef of course)and then wrapped up with drinks samples while Chloe was busy putting stuff in her cart. After awhile, I was full and no need to eat dinner! Who said there is nothing as free lunch?

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