Today I went to the traditional market to pick up some dumplings (dumplings are a theme lately… perhaps they deserve their own category?). At the traditional market, the dumplings are fresh and MUCH better than what you pick up at the grocery store frozen in a plastic bag with a picture printed on it.
I ran into my landlady at the one of the fruit stands, and she insisted on giving me over half of her tangerines, directing me to the best kind of vegetables to eat with dumplings, and getting them for me.
She’s so sweet.
Being in Taiwan, I’ve often felt overwhelmed by the generosity of the people around me and generally less than worthy of it. Now, I’m trying to get to the point where I can accept it without feeling bad, and pass on the giving spirit to the people around me who’ll accept it, generally my younger cousins. It’s a bit empowering to finally get to pay for ice cream.
And some older photos from the traditional market (vegetarians beware– there are some unfortunate either to-be-dead animals or dead animals in the upcoming photos…):
dried fish and shrimp
Anyone know what this (the above) is? The leaves are really pretty.
Sorry the eggplants are slightly blurry– but they’re so prettily purple! They’re different from the eggplants back at home.
Veggies! Note how the carrots are much thicker and shorter, and generally not as sweet as I’ve found in the US (however, in one of those long-ago visits, I saw one carved into a really cool rooster garnish)– and does anyone have any idea what that green vegetable that looks like a ball with leaves sticking out of it is? (edit: Apparently, thanks to RK, it’s a kohlrabi).
Mmm… Fruit! My favorite section of the market (it’s quite extensive too!)
Fish– this makes me feel simultaneously guilty about the overfishing of the world’s oceans and hungry.
Chickens about to meet their immediate end. I’ve heard that live birds are going to be prohibited in traditional markets in a bit due to legislation that has to do with SARS.
Steamed buns fresh from the oven.
Paper money to burn for the ancestors and a market cat (this stand had four cats around it and offered me a kitten, which I unfortunately had to refuse).
A stand just for sharp things– knives and scissors…
A store for all household things– the bins on the left-hand side are your own personal furnace for burning paper money, and there were stacks of dishes and hanging teapots in the store.
I love markets. The language of choice at the market is generally Taiwanese, which I fumble terribly. The sellers are generally friendly, and there is a liveliness to the market that the grocery store just can’t match.