Taiwanese cuisine has been strongly influenced by foods from China’s Fujian province, and also by the cuisines of Fuzhou, Chaozhou and Guangdong. During Japanese rule, their cooking techniques have influenced some Taiwanese food. Traditional Chinese food can be found in Taiwan, alongside Fujian and Hakka-style as well as native Taiwanese dishes, includes dishes from Guangdong, Jiangxi, Chaoshan, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan and Beijing. During Japanese rule, their cooking techniques have influenced some Taiwanese food.
Pork, seafood, chicken, rice, and soy are very common ingredients. Beef is far less common. Taiwan's cuisine has also been influenced by its geographic location. Living on a crowded island, the Taiwanese had to look aside from the farmlands for sources of protein. As a result, seafood figures prominently in their cuisine.
As Taiwan is an island, seafood is in ready abundance and has become a major focus of Taiwanese dishes. As to cooking styles, sautéing and stir-frying are used widely as they have been found to best preserve ingredients’ freshness and nutritional goodness.
Taiwan people eat breakfast at home or, very often, on the way to work or school, in breakfast shops or food-stalls, Taiwan people have their lunch early. Every restaurant open at 11.30 AM or even earlier. Many people eat lunch out of home, at the work place or school. One of the most popular choices for lunch is called "Biandang", a boxed lunch, consisting of steamed rice, meat, eggs or sausages, dried bean curd, vegetables, a few slices of pickled ginger. At the end of the day families have dinner at home. On weekends, Taiwanese enjoy eating out in night markets and restaurants. Restaurants open early for supper, at 5.30 PM or even earlier, they close early, often at 9 PM.
A big part of the authentic Taiwanese food is made of snacks. Nearly every city or county in Taiwan boasts its own specialties that can be tasted in night markets scattered throughout the island.
Taiwanese tea has an established global reputation. As for desserts, shaved ice is very popular, where subtropical temperatures and extended summers have given rise to an exciting array of tempting ice desserts.
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