Jiu Fen 九份 (1 of 2)
Nelson: This tourist spot to the east of Taipei is nested atop of a mountain and consists of narrow streets of old style shops on the side of a mountain that occasionally break for a spectacular view. It is very popular among Japanese tourists and was actually an inspiration for the Miyazaki film Spirited Away. A lot of the food has Japanese influences as well. It is too bad we had already eaten, because there was just so much variety here to try. This first post consists entirely of food that I didn't buy, but may have sampled.
We saw many layered cakes like this one throughout Japan, so I had a sample. The next posts consists of mochi varieties with Taiwan ingredients, 頂品堂 a type of fruit candy I think, cupcake-like things but with some sort of filling, conch shells, flavoured jellies, grape drinks (the vendor was super nice), read meat dumplings with translucent shell and a big white block of something. Sorry I don't have better descriptions, I couldn't buy/eat everything here!
I thought the last one was one of the more interesting ones. The vendor will use a wood planer/shaver to extract some of the peanuts in this sugary hard coating formed into a large block. Then the shavings would be placed on a crepe-like shell, a scoop of ice cream (?) would be added and it would get wrapped up. Looked interesting, it's just too bad I didn't have the stomach capacity to try it.
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