A classic Taiwan hotel breakfast, enjoyed at Academia Sinica. Chinese ingredients include congee (rice porridge) and pickled root vegetables. Taiwanese flavor is found in fresh local dragon fruit and lichee nuts, along with cured fish. Euro-American fare is eggs, hash browns, and piping hot coffee.

In America, ‘melting pot’ refers to the unique blend of cultures and histories in our country. More recently, the term ‘salad’ refers to the integrity of individual pieces, tossed with a tangy dressing that (usually) unites us all.

I am Taiwanese/North American (Scots-Irish-English-French Canadian). Like many mixed race people, I was keenly aware and curious about that far-away land from an early age. But for complicated reasons, I only met a few of my father’s family when growing up, and did not get a chance actually to visit Taiwan until 2011. I’ve been back several times since, and will soon (December) undertake a 7-month research project there.

This blog will talk about the country, its people, food, religions, cultures, heritages, political quirks, and food (did I say that already?) Due to my lack of skill at speaking Chinese or Taiwan-hua, I will inevitably miss a lot. But I hope to convey a bit of appreciation for this uniquely blended place, its mysteries, its place in the world, its flavors and textures. If Taiwan is a bit confused about its own past, presenting a rich and bewildering array of faces to the world, maybe this blog will help you find a bit of Taiwan in yourself.