Monthly Archives: August 2011

Desserts from Taiwan

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Taiwanese Desserts with I Wen, AAG SEVIS Coordinator

A few of my favorite desserts from Taiwan. Just looking at them makes me hungry and homesick!

Peanut and ice cream wrap or "hua shen bing"

Peanut and ice cream wrap or "hua shen bing"

In Taiwan, most of locals are huge fans of tasty and special cuisine, it is said that there is a snack shop every three steps and a restaurant every five.

Egg Tarts from KFC

Egg Tarts from KFC

"Tang yuan"- filled with sesame paste and bathed in a rice wine soup

A gelatinous dessert "Tang yuan"- filled with sesame paste and bathed in a rice wine soup

Mango Shaved Ice

Mango Shaved Ice

Crushed ice or shaved ice is very popular in Taiwan. The principle is simple – fresh fruits, sweet syrup, condensed milk, and you have this refreshing, cold treat above. They are perfect for hot summer days.

Almond milk shaved ice and almond tofu pudding at Yu's Almond Tofu

Almond milk shaved ice and almond tofu pudding at Yu's Almond Tofu

The capital of Taiwan, Taipei, is a heaven for sugar lovers.

South Africa

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Volunteer South Africa with Chris Onuorah

In the Philippi, a township in Cape Town, there are many street vendors in which you can buy braai (meat cooked over an open flame).  Generally speaking, many South Africans I met love meat in their diet (I met vegetarians too).  On this particular day when I was passing through Philippi we stopped at one of the vendors to purchase braai meat.  In this case a whole chicken was split in half and laid on the grill.  I was there with Sandiso, a tertiary student.  When we bought the chicken, it was split between three people: me, Sandiso, and our friend Sisipho.

Chris with chicken on the grill

Chris gathered round braai meat with his friends.

braai also a social event which is casual and laid-back, where family and friends converge on a picnic spot or someone’s home (normally the garden or verandah) with their own meat, salad, or side dish in hand. The men gather round the braai or braaistand (the grill) outdoors and cook the food, while women prepare the salad, dessert, and vegetables in the kitchen.

Philippie Township, Chicken on grill

Philippie Township braai, which we call a barbeque.

The braai is the popular way of grilling food that dates back from the trekking days, when all fresh foods were cooked over wood. Today most suburban houses have a braai area and they now use briquettes or charcoal instead of wood due to the convenience.

Ecuador

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Internship Ecuador with Brittney Lewis

Here are a few meals I ate in Ecuador: fish soup with whole fish in it, cow bone soup and a typical lunch with lots of rice!

fish soup with whole fish in it

Fish soup with a whole fish in it.

Seafood is popular and plentiful throughout Ecuador, but particularly on the Pacific Coast.

cow bone soup

Cow bone soup.

Soups are Ecuador’s specialty. Most lunches and dinners are accompanied by a savory soup as the first course.

A typical lunch with lots of rice!

A typical lunch with lots of rice!

Most regions in Ecuador follow the traditional three course meal of soup, a second course which includes rice and a protein such as meat or fish, and then dessert and coffee to finish. Supper is usually lighter and sometimes consists only of coffee or herbal tea with bread.