To many reader’s out there, the following list might be the most delicious menu you have ever seen. Good for you. I’m glad you have become one with the culture in Taiwan. However the rest of us (mostly westerners) would cringe at these foods.
10. Pig Ears 豬耳朵
Westerner’s think that any animal extremity is gross. This is because we make these extremities into sausage instead of eating them straight. Taiwanese however like to each extremity separately creating a new culinary delight. I think it’s strange that pig ears taste so similar to fish. There was one time where I was offered pig ears against my will, so I hid in the bathroom and secretly flushed them down the toilet. Desperate times come for desperate measures. Pic:
9. 1000 Year Old Egg 皮蛋
This delicacy was originally (in the olden days) made by fermenting eggs in HORSE PEE. As much as Taiwanese people tell me that this is not how 1000 year old eggs are made now, I still cannot get that image out of my mind. Once a Taiwanese family gave let my friend try one of these, and he immediately puked it into the trash can.
8. Intestine Noodles 大腸棉綫
I unfortunately have had the opportunity to try this dish on a number of occasions, never to my liking. Not only can I not stop thinking about the poop that went through these intestines, but it actually tastes like a bunch of poop went through them.
7. Chicken Feet 鷄脚
Westerners do not like to eat the extremities of animals. With such little meat on chicken feet, it amazes me that Taiwanese people go through the trouble of cooking them at all. I guess Taiwanese just don’t like wasting food like us westerners.
6. Bitter Tea 苦茶
Bitter tea is seen to many Taiwanese as a healthy drink, one to cure a multitude of ailments and ensure overall good health. My wife says only old people drink it because they have already lost their sense of taste. In my opinion, this tastes the exact same as stomach acid.
5. Snake Meat 蛇肉
We have never had the pleasure of trying snake meat, but some of our friends in Tainan have. It’s Snake meat, meat from an animal that is full of deadly venomous fangs. What else is there to say.
4. Coagulated Duck/Pig Blood 豬血/鴨血
I don’t know why this is a thing, I guess this goes along with the not wasting food thing. While blood is gross in general, eating blood is even more gross. However I have found coagulated blood mixed in a rice cake form is pretty tasty.
3. Duck/Chicken Butt 鴨屁股/鷄屁股
The butt of an animal. The place where poop comes out. Sounds gross, but I find that if you avoid eating the anus, these are actually pretty tasty.
2. Fish Eyes 魚眼睛
Taiwanese (and Chinese) people believe that eating fish eyes and fish head will make you smarter. So it comes naturally that many parents force their children to eat fish eyes so they will do well on their tests. I can tolerate these, but they are not my favorite. As westerners, anything from an animal head is gross, but eyes take the prize.
1. Duck Head 鴨頭
Why is eating a duck head popular in Taiwan? I guess it probably tastes good, but I have never tried one. Also, along with fish head, eating duck brain is supposed to make you smarter. Again, the not wasting food thing. And again westerners do not like animal heads, and eating an entire duck head takes the number one spot.
Do you know of any other disgusting Taiwan foods? Please comment below with any feedback.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.