Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Food from the hills (Verve)

Taiwan's aboriginal minority enjoys a high profile in pop music and sport, but when it comes to cuisine - the subject closest to the hearts of many Taiwanese - the island's indigenous people and their cultures are curiously underrepresented.

Browse through any Taipei restaurant guide and you'll find more information about Turkish, Burmese and Spanish restaurants than you will about eateries that serve indigenous dishes like ahvai (fermented millet and pork, wrapped inside large leaves) or barbecued sakud (the meat of the Reeves's Muntjac, a small deer-like creature).

Of the 100 establishments described in the book "2007 Taipei's Top Restaurants" (Fish and Fish International Co.) not one is aboriginal.

But, just as Australians are showing renewed interest in the "bush tucker" that sustained some early white settlers as well as the country's aborigines, more and more gourmands are seeking out the traditional fare of Taiwan's indigenous tribes...

Verve is EVA Air's inflight magazine. This article, the third I've done about aboriginal food, appears in their November issue.

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