Thanks to the autumnal equinox, Taiwan has a national holiday, called Mid-Autumn Festival, or Mooncake Festival. They’ve got plenty of celebrating (and a day off school!). So far, my favorite part of the shindig is the BBQ.
My boss, FuHo, invited me to a BBQ at her house, with lots of people from her church. Here in Taiwan, there are no Little Smokeys or gas grills. These grills are basically camping equipment. But they get the job done.
All weekend, I have seen groups of family and friends out on the sidewalk grilling happily away. The grills are covered in meat. So. Much. Meat.
|Lots o' meat|
I brought my pal Amber and her coworker Jesse along for the BBQ festivities. One particularly delectable edible fired up was the Chicken Ass. Yes, ass. The Taiwanese teenagers who offered us this tidbit of “meat” giggled as they answered my favorite question, “What is it?” One of the boys corrected the others, and called it “chicken bottom.” But come on, we all know the truth.
The chicken ass tasted like (duh) chicken. However, it had little crunchy bits in it that nearly made me gag. I can only hope they were small pieces of cartilage. Any other option it too gross to consider. I probably won’t eat any more ass.
|Amber eats some chicken ass. Mmmm|
Another traditional food is the pomelo. The locals peel the rind off in a certain way, eat the fruit, and then wear the rind as a hat. The fruit is delicious -- like a grapefruit, but not as juicy.
|Pomelo Hat. A good look, I think.|
My roommate Abi also introduced me to the sarsaparilla drink, HeySong Sarsi. It’s kinda like root beer, but more like you’re drinking it in an Old West saloon. Except in the Far East. Yeah, kinda like that.
We all know how much we Wisconsinites like to tailgate, so all this grilling and eating was right up my alley. There was a significant lack of beer (although I could have run on down to the 7/Eleven to remedy that situation), and no one was playing bean bag toss. But overall, I was quite pleased with my first Taiwan Tailgate. Now, if only the Brewers game had been on.....