Breakfast: Shao Bing, Luo Bo Gao, He Bao Dan
Dad took me for walk into Zhongli to get a good breakfast. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy Taiwanese breakfast?
Lunch: Mom's Cooking
It's nice to be able to eat with the family, like old times.
After lunch, we headed over the Yingge which is just a few train stops over from Zhongli (where we live). Taiwan is cool because it's compact enough that you can reach everything with its really convenient public transportation.
It was raining but I actually find summer rains quite enjoyable and the walk to the train station was rather pretty.
Yingge was nice. The town is famed for its ceramics. Every other shop was peddling finely crafted vases, tea pots, bowls, and the like.
The town was nice and the pottery was neat but I wasn't really in the market for ceramics.
Snack: Ode to Baozi
Once upon a time there was a young, sprightly lad by the name of Joshua. He could, on occasion, be seen stuffing baozi after baozi into his busy yet smiling mouth. No sooner had one bao been swallowed than the next had come to fill the brief vacancy. Baozi made Joshua happy.
But something happened. Years passed and, for some reason, Joshua found his love for baozi dwindling. It's not as if he was avoiding baozi. He would eat a baozi every now and then. But when was the last time he really enjoyed it? He couldn't remember. When was the last time he ate a baozi that was actually good? He would eat baozi at restarants- they all tasted the same, nothing special. He would buy baozi from Chinese bakeries- they were just okay. He would buy frozen bao from the grocery market- is this what bao has come to? He even tried to make his own bao- the filling was dry and tasted weird. Joshua began to question whether he really ever loved bao. Was it all just a glorified memory? A nostalgic fantasy? Joshua had lost hope in bao.
Until that day. That beautiful day. That glorious day when Bao returned into Joshua's life. Born of a recommendation from his uncle, love for baozi was restored. Soft, steamed buns filled with savory, succulent saucy meats and vegetables. The initial, deep bite releasing aromatic tendrils of steam trapped in the juicy center. After inhaling each and every one of the delectable pillows from heaven, a single tear fell from his left eye.
Seriously though, these were the best baozi I've ever eaten. they had about 15 different flavors (although the flavors they have on hand vary from day to day). We had the original (filled with juicy, saucy meat), jiu cai (a chive-like vegetable), pork kimchi, pepper steak, and black sesame. My mouth is watering typing this. Yingge is only two train stops from Zhongli where we live so I'll try to come back here whenever I get the opportunity.
Dinner: Not Baozi
We went to a restaurant for dinner. Actually, I had been to this restaurant before, 5 years ago with the STM team. The food was good but both my mind and stomach were full of the baozi from just a couple hours ago.