Thursday, October 22, 2009

Beans & ice & condensed milk

When I was home, one story I kept being asked to tell was about the unique summer treat, uh, I don’t really know what it is:

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You start with some shaved ice.  A few places add condensed milk and fresh fruit, which has a certain appeal.  Most places add, um, tapioca balls (those are the black balls in the sign above), weird medicinal jell-o (the jello-y black stuff in the bowl on the right), taro balls (the kinda beigey purple balls) and other gummy and chewy things.  And, of course, beans!

It’s one of those things I kinda get talked into because Taiwanese people can’t fathom how it’s not delicious.  The stands always have a huge menu, which I can’t understand, and also one kind of cold soup gummy beany thing tastes the same as the next to me.

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I’ve learned to avoid these stands by treating at Starbucks whenever someone suggests it all my smarts went out the window last weekend, when the friend I was with said she’d treat me to ice later.  Ice cream, I thought!  Great!  And for some reason in my mind I just knew she’d take me to some delicious place with homemade ice cream in normal flavors…  Sometimes I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  Did I just get to Taiwan yesterday?

The upshot is that I got to take a picture of my bowl.  Yes, those seems to be pinto beans and kidney beans, and yes, I ate some (but not all- it was huge!)  The beans are not as salty as canned beans back home so it’s not really that bad, just not something I would choose to eat.

ghost money 008Since it’s only 80 degrees out (ie, it’s cold!), she couldn’t eat the ice stuff, so she got a bowl of warm (not hot) “tofu flower” soup. 

I just realized this whole post sounds really sarcastic.  But I mean how else do you write about sweet gummy bean ice?


Mimi said...

They serve that all over the place here in Hawaiian and Chinese restaurants. We even saw it at a Pumpkin Patch this week. How mayn people in so Cal want plain shaved ice with fruit or beans on top at a Pumpkin Patch? Not my kids!

Richard said...

I have discovered the hard way that the bean soup is better then