Sunday, November 6, 2011

week 59_Death Star & Blood Cake

Last night my husband and I decided to check out another nearby mall/department store (there are SO MANY in Taipei!). I had walked past before and never wandered in, but when my husband got word from a friend that we had a mall in the city that looked like a death star, he wanted to check it out. So we set out to check out the Core Pacific City Mall - not too far from our neighborhood.

Taipei's very own death star, the Core Pacific City Mall

Even though I sort of figured it had to happen eventually (?) I guess (??) that I would inevitably try the local favorite, blood cakes!!! I didn't realize this was the moment...

I know I've featured many food entries on my blog, and that is because the food is so different here from everything I've eaten most of my life! 

I've tried some adventurous foods here in Taiwan (well, adventurous for a girl from Oklahoma/Texas!) and there've been plenty of foods that I have still turned my nose up at, and decided not to try. It's challenging knowing that the locals really enjoy these dishes and yet I'm turned off just by learning the name of the dish, or the main ingredients. Not sure there's any way around that though.

Core Pacific City -aka- the Living Mall, Food Court

One of the local favorite ingredients happens to be blood - pig's blood, duck's blood, etc - apparently each has it's own unique flavor. Even though it doesn't' sound appealing to me, the locals especially enjoy this delicacy, and prepare it in multiple dishes, so I have the opportunity to eat this anytime I choose.

Of course, I've never chosen to eat it...
But when my dinner last night came with a small blood cake on the side (blood/sticky white rice), I figured I should probably just bite the bullet and try it this once --- so the husband and I both took a nibble.

Tempura Dinner:
[left - Boat] : Fish sausage rings, Winter Melon, Corn, Blood Cake, Sweet Sauce, Miso Soup
[right - Bento Box] : White steamed rice, Cabbage, Fried Egg, Tempura Shrimp & Veggies,
Salad w/Thousand Island dressing

It was not for me. Then again, I'm also sure that this fast food version, served cold was probably a poor example of the snack that the Taiwanese have encouraged me to try and may not compare to the places the locals prefer to order blood cakes. Who knows.

Even though I initially thought I could blame my Western heritage for my impartiality to blood cakes, it turns out that is altogether untrue. I recently saw a show on National Geographic featuring an exclusive dinner at the US's Swedish embassy, where the featured entrees were blood cakes (of a different variety) and Surstr√∂mming (which sounds equally unappealing!). Come to find out, blood has been a popular ingredient in many European countries for a looong time! You can learn more about it here:

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