Food Archive

  • Of Hills and Swill

    Of Hills and Swill

      Last year I was the distinctly Un-Grand Old Baron of Beitou – just under halfway up the hill to Yangmingshan but feeling over halfway down the path of life. I was confined to a solitary-confinement-sized box on that hill, reeling from a broken marriage and drinking myself silly. A year later I’m in Danshui, [...]

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  • Swollen Like a Shady Magistrate: Chowing Down Burmese Style

    Swollen Like a Shady Magistrate: Chowing Down Burmese Style

    U Po Kyin, the diabolical antagonist of George Orwell’s novel Burmese Days is described as a man “so fat that for years he had not risen from his chair without help”. Frequently beset by pangs of hunger, he gorges on “a huge bowl of rice and a dozen plates containing curries, dried prawns and sliced [...]

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  • Un Bataburillo de la Cocina Paraguaya

    Un Bataburillo de la Cocina Paraguaya

    There’s something satisfying about reduplication. Words like pell-mell, riffraff and whippersnapper just sound good. Johnson called them “low words.” Blackadder called him a “pompous ass with sweaty dewflaps.” Hodepodge is another good one and so is the Spanish equivalent batiburillo. The word suits Asunción, a city of jumbles. Passionate indolence. Teutonic Guarani-speaking Ladinos. Dark and dusty bookshops on hot [...]

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  • Verse Not Purse; No Green, Free Bean; Can’t Write for Toffee, Still Blagged a Coffee …

    Verse Not Purse; No Green, Free Bean; Can’t Write for Toffee, Still Blagged a Coffee …

    Though I sometimes still have the odd couplet or rhyme floating around my head (mainly the works of the late Christopher Wallace), I jacked in writing poetry a long time ago, mainly because I’m not very good. Not long after I got started with with this blog, I stuck up a couple of my better [...]

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  • What’s the deal?

    What’s the deal?

    This one has bamboozled me for years. Why, oh why do market vendors announce that something is “25 NT each, four for a hundred!” like that’s some kind of deal? I’ve asked people and invariably got blank looks. “It’s 25 NT. Four for a hundred.” Some of the more wily, rascally types down the market [...]

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  • Salt, Stodge and Sarapatel: Getting Stuffed in Salvador de Bahia

    Salt, Stodge and Sarapatel: Getting Stuffed in Salvador de Bahia

    Never one to miss a trick, my son Herbie was immensely tickled at the name of the first airline we used in Latin American: LAN. “Felix would love it,” he said of his little brother who, much to my regret, I could not afford to bring along on this six-week trip. Herbie was referring to [...]

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  • Forget the pears. Sanwan (三灣) is all about the beef noodles

    Forget the pears. Sanwan (三灣) is all about the beef noodles

    Anytime I take a break from a spot of frenetic one-handed Internet surfing these days, to see what’s afoot on the Taiwan blogosphere it seems I come across some bozo muscling in on my territory. If it’s not old Turton gliding through the serenity of Liyutan and holding forth on the wind-turbine protests at Yuanli, [...]

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  • Trinity Indian Stores

    Trinity Indian Stores

    Perhaps not from the very minute I started this blog,  but fairly early on,I realised that, with a fair number of  blogs relating to Taiwan already out there, I wanted it to be a little different. I don’t mean stylistically, though that too, but in the actual content I would present. Generally I try not [...]

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  • Corresponent’s luncheon

    Corresponent’s luncheon

    I don’t know which continues to surprise me more: Taipei, or one of the city’s foremost flâneurs. The other day, the Inveterate Bede promised a surprise for lunch and delivered. We were meeting to sign some application forms for a challenging day trek up and down Yushan in December. (My signature has me acknowledging the old rogue [...]

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  • Xiao Liu Shougong Lamian (小六手工拉麵)

    Xiao Liu Shougong Lamian (小六手工拉麵)

    One of the things that makes me laugh about the various accusations of restaurant roachery (OK, some of these incidents are pretty gross) that surface from time to time in Taiwan is the fact that, in my years here, I’ve seen the hardy pests in dozens of eateries of all levels. From wet market shacks, [...]

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