The Faithful Gourmand: Enjoying Taiwanese Brunch at Dadaocheng Cisheng Temple

The News Lens
Date: 2019/10/30
Words and Photos by Ryan Hong
Translation by Joe Henley

Photo Credit: Ryan Hong

One of the best places to get a taste of authentic Taiwanese food? Right around the temples.Faith gathers people together. Just as temples in Taiwan are centers of prayer and divination, they also allow people to gather and chat over a cup of tea. But faith also serves as a beacon. There are different tastes in different parts of Taiwan, and you can always find the most authentic snacks by walking through the grand temple entrances. Following in the footsteps of the faithful, you are sure to find the best local delicacies.

There is perhaps no place like Taiwan, where religion and food are so deeply connected. In Taiwan, there’s an old saying: “tsē lâng hó-tsiah mih” (濟人好呷物), which means “foods taste better when shared.” The temple entrance and square are where large numbers of people come and go, and, understandably, become a place bustling with not only people but also all kinds of delicious street snacks, Oolong tea flavored melon seeds and noodles. If you want to eat authentic, cultural, humanistic, and local delicacies, the temple entrance is the best place to go.

Cisheng Temple is favored by the local faithful, making it one of the three biggest temples in Dadaocheng.

From the south to the north, the temple entrance in every city acts as a kind of food distribution center. The flavors of local gourmets are rooted in the snack stalls in such places as Kaohsiung Guandi Temple (高雄關帝廟), Lugang Mazu Temple (鹿港天后宮), and Hsinchu City God Temple (新竹城隍廟). These places are also where local customs are always on full display.

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