Aside from enjoying snacks of all kinds in Taiwan, you should also not miss the special delicacies indigenous to each area. These products usually have gift packaging, which is convenient for travelers who want to take them home as gifts for friends and relatives.
There are also traditional handicrafts to choose from. The places selling these handicrafts have continued the fine tradition of excellence established by their predecessors, constantly creating and innovating, thus garnering international fame. Moreover, these handcraft businesses have made very good use of the unique materials indigenous to the areas where they are located. For example, Hualien produces marble, and Sanyi produces camphor wood, hence, these two areas are homes to stores selling stone and wood carvings, respectively, resulting in not only excellent product quality but also reasonable prices. The quality of the clay produced in Taipei County’s Yingge and Nantou County’s Shueili is superior, and that is why the products made from this raw material in those places are both unique and affordable.
Although Taiwan is small, there is an almost infinite variety of products it has made uniquely on its own. These not only make fine gifts for friends and relatives, but they also allow you to take home a true piece of Taiwan.
With a reputation of being a tea empire, Taiwan’s topography and climate are perfect for growing tea plants. There are many varieties of tea available in Taiwan; among these, Wunshan Baojhong Tea, Dongding Oolong Tea, Pekoe Oolong Tea, and Tie Guanyin are the four mainstream teas.
You can pick up virtually any type of teapot in department stores or tea stores. If you want to buy a piece of porcelain culture aside from having a teapot to boil tea in, go to Yingge, the ceramics capital of Taiwan. Yingge’s Jianshanpu Rd. is a newly designed pedestrian area, and the whole shopping area emphasizes various types of porcelain products. This is the best place to buy your teapot and have a look around.
Major department stores and supermarkets have special stalls that sell tea, which makes this national beverage readily available. Besides, there is also the tea bag, a simple and convenient way to enjoy a cup of tea.
Taiwan’s most famous producer of peanut brittle is the small island of Kinmen. Because of Kinmen’s fresh air, good water quality, rich soil, and windy weather conditions, the peanuts produced here are superior to those produced anywhere else. The peanuts are cooked in malt sugar and left to cool and harden. Then the result is cut into small bars, wrapped, and packaged in gift boxes.
Pineapple is not only widely produced here in Taiwan, but the island is also known for producing canned pineapple, pineapple drinks, and pineapple jam. Pineapple is also made into pineapple cake, with the pineapple’s sweet and sour taste mingling with the loose, soft outer skin that just melts in your mouth; definitely worth giving it a taste... and more!
A variety of flavors are produced when plums, dates, mangoes, pineapples, and other fresh fruits are rubbed with salt and fermented by adding sugar. Basically, the salty flavors of preserved fruits come from the salt rubbed on them, the sweet taste comes from the sugar and the sourness is a result of fermentation. People in Taiwan call these preserved fruits "salty, sour, and sweet", which is an appropriate moniker for their unique taste.