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Furu Fish in Mwanza, Tanzania

Mwanza Tanzania
naaah

This yummy taste of "furu," as they call it back in Mwanza. It was among my best trips, and I enjoyed it a lot. The locals appreciate the meal too, and they narrated to me how to make furu.... Read more

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Origins: The History of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

A bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup in Taipei

Beef noodle soup. Photo courtesy of Jocelyn & Cathy/Flickr

Warm spices, pickled mustard greens, slurpable wheat noodles, rich beef broth: Such are the lip-smacking hallmarks of Taiwanese beef noodle soup (牛肉麵), an oft-heralded national dish (and ultimate comfort food) of Taiwan. The dish wasn’t always so beloved, however. In fact, before 1895, Taiwanese of Han Chinese descent (who now account for more than 97 percent of the population) ate beef no more often than 21st-century Americans eat cats or dogs (cringe, I know).

Beef was taboo in Taiwan. So at what point in history did beef noodle soup become so quintessential to Taiwanese cuisine?

Like many things on the island, the dish’s existence is owed to decades of colonialism, global politics, and military engagements—outside influences that have left an indelible imprint on Taiwan’s local cuisine.

It’s certainly not uncommon for cuisines to be shaped by other cultures. But in Taiwan, a small island passed around by global powers that still lacks official “country” status, these influences seem outsize, and the cuisine all the more remarkable for its ability to absorb and evolve while remaining distinctly Taiwanese.

The history of beef noodle soup, starting with three powerful nations and ending in every corner shop of Taipei, provides the perfect example.

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    Disco might be dead, but not in the diners of North Jersey, where disco fries have long reigned. This late-night comfort food is a very Jersey spin on the poutine of Québec, Canada: Steak-cut...

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    The very rich, chocolatey Brooklyn blackout cake is associated with an iconic chain of Brooklyn bakeries called Ebinger’s, which went bankrupt in 1972 after 74 years in business. Ebinger’s...

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Utah Valley
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Food Memories:   Write a Story Learn More
  • Furu Fish in Mwanza, Tanzania

    Mwanza Tanzania

    naaah

    This yummy taste of "furu," as they call it back in Mwanza. It was among my best trips, and I enjoyed it a lot. The locals appreciate the meal too, and they narrated to me how to make f…    Read more
  • Swedish Surströmming, or Stinky Herring

    Sweden

    hanna025

    What we usually throw away in the trash, carefully wrapped in a bag and pressing our noses in it, is considered a national product by the Nordic peoples. We are talking about sauerkraut herring, …    Read more
  • Tihlo in Ethiopia

    Mekele, Ethiopia

    samson

    Tihlo (Tigrinya: ቲህሎ) is a dish from the historical Agame province in northern parts of Ethiopia that consists of barley dough balls covered with meat and berbere (berbere is made of chili …    Read more
  • Fergburger is Heaven on Earth

    Queenstown, New Zealand

    kcfairweather

    The owner of Fergburger must surely be a Belinda Carlisle fan because he has made heaven a place on earth. Founded on December 22, 2000 and opened in February 2001, operating out of a garage off …    Read more

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