September 03, 2014

Bring Your Kitchen

 How To Make Pizza Where the Customers Are

If you do go to Kenting, the southern tip of Taiwan, don't get your expectations up when it comes to Taiwanese food. There isn't much of it.

If in Kenting, chances are that you will be staying in Kenting Town. Kenting Town, a little village, is a tourist spot and as such full of food for the tourists. As many of the tourists are local tourists that eat Taiwanese every day, the majority of the restaurants down here feature what is considered exotic food; There are a number of Thai places (as in Thailand, not Taiwan), there are European/American style restaurants, not the least close to or in the big and very fancy hotel complexes around – the enormous places where you need a map to find the way to the breakfast room, no, breakfast hall, and where there are stairs and corridors and levers leading you through the labyrinths of pool area, entertainment, reading room, shops, laundry room, hotel restaurants and so forth – plenty of restaurants around there.

There are also various other types of restaurants, but not many Taiwanese; So don't come to Kenting and expect to eat Taiwanese, but be prepared for Italian, American, Thai and so forth. It's not bad - just don't expect the authentic Taiwanese food - Kenting takes pride in being international. 

Kenting town does however have a small night market that stretches along the main road and is open in the evening, here you can stroll along and get your little snacks, there are of course the Taiwanese snacks, including the Japanese that Taiwan adopted at theirs when they were under Japanese rule from 1895 to 1945. Takoyaki, the octopus balls, typical for the Osaka area in Japan, the stinky Tofu, the Taiwanese sausages, and much more. There are also other more odd snacks, like deep-fried Oreo, which, I can only assume, is a rip-off of the deep fried snickers bars you can get in Scotland.

But when you reach the end of the market, where the little town, or village, turns into country side again, there are a number of stands that look a bit more interesting, these are the roadside bars, where you can sit down and get a drink, or the food places. But what's so special here is these are not permanent little roadside bars – but quite the contrary. Kenting's little roadside bars and snack places are at the back of the trucks. Literary You don't sit on the truck, but by it.

I recommend the pizza.

If you are going have pizza in Taiwan, this is the spot. Not just for the pizza itself, which isn't bad, thin crust pizza, but also because the setting is so different, and while you eat your pizza you can listen to the cars and scooters drying by, and smell the ocean which is just around the corner. It is worth it just for the experience! There are a few trucks that have a full oven at the back of the truck, a stone oven for pizza baking. You gather around little tables, the pizza baker takes your order and when it is ready you will get it served by the table. No fancy settings, no white table cloths, but it is such a different experience and that, I believe, adds to the flavour, especially if you have lived in the country for a while and aren't used to pizza anymore. Taiwan is after all a country where most homes don't even have an oven.


And other things in Kenting? I wrote about some of them them here!
Finding the way? Here... 

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