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Sweet Peanut Soup

2020-02

Sweet Peanut Soup

Text|Wei-Lin Lee・Illustrate|Wanyun

Taiwan's sweet peanut soup is delicious and simple to make. All you need is three key ingredients: water, sugar, and peanuts. The key to success in preparing this delicacy is to simmer the peanuts until tender. This sweet soup goes well with other Taiwanese delicacies including deep-fried dough sticks, douhua and tangyuan.

Taiwan Rosefinch

2020-02

Taiwan Rosefinch

©簡國祥

©簡國祥

Text|Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

The Taiwan Rosefinch, once considered a subspecies of the Vinaceous Rosefinch, is only found in nature in Taiwan. The male has striking red wine colored feathers, while the female has a simple brown appearance. These birds can be spotted in mountain ranges at about 2,000~3,000 meters. There they feed mainly upon seeds and small worms .

Taiwan Rosefinch
Binomial name:Carpodacus formosanus

Formosan Sambar

2020-01

Formosan Sambar

©莊竣程

©莊竣程

Text |Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

Formosan Sambars are Taiwan's largest herbivores, with a head and body length approximating 180 cm. They are also known as “four-eyed deer” because of their suborbital glands, which are situated just below their eyes. They rub the glands on tree trunks to mark their domain and open them when they are excited.

Fromosan Sambar
Binomial name:Rusa unicolor swinhoii
Family: Cervida Rusa

Blood Rice Cake

2020-01

Blood Rice Cake

Text|Roger Kuo・Illustrate|Wanyun

Made of duck or pig blood and glutinous rice, blood rice cake is considered strange by foreigners, but it is popular in Taiwan. Some people like it steamed and coated with peanut powder and coriander and served on a stick. Others like to cut it into cubes and mixed with sauces and served as appetizer or a drinking snack.

Taiwania

2019-12

Taiwania

©Snow Ram

©Snow Ram

Text |Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

This tree is the only plant that uses "Taiwan" as its genus in the kingdom of plants. It can grow to about 40 to 50 meters high and even higher. Because it is hard to see the canopy clearly from the ground, the Rukai people call it "the tree that hits the moon".

Taiwania
Binomial name:Taiwania cryptomerioides Hayata
Family: Taxodiaceae Taiwania

Mochi

2019-12

Mochi

Text|Roger Kuo・Illustrate|Wanyun

Mochi is a popular snack in Taiwan. It is a chewy glutinous rice ball often stuffed with sweet red bean paste or black sesame paste. Taiwan's Hakka people, however, like mochi plain without filling. Instead, they like it sprinkled with peanut or black sesame powder. Taiwan's Ami tribe also have a similar snack, using millet instead of glutinous rice as the main ingredient.

Douhua

2019-11

Douhua

Text|Roger Kuo・Illustrate|Wanyun

Douhua, also known as tofu pudding, is a popular Taiwanese dessert. It is often served with brown sugar syrup and boiled peanuts as well as other sweet toppings. It can be served over crushed ice in summer or with warm ginger-flavored syrup in winter.

Taiwanese Fiddler Crab

2019-11

Taiwanese Fiddler Crab

©Tung Hsin Su

©Tung Hsin Su

Text |Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

Unlike most of their relatives, Taiwanese fiddler crabs dwell in viscid sandy habitats. They can easily be found in the wetlands of Xiangshan, Hsinchu.
Male crabs have an enlarged fiddler claw that resembles a pair of white scissors. This characteristic distinguishes them from other species in the area.

Taiwanese Fiddler Crab
Binomial name:Xeruca formosensis
Family: Ocypodidae

Formosan Serow

2019-10

Formosan Serow

©Alex Huang

©Alex Huang

Text |Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

The Formosan serow, also known as the Taiwan serow, is Taiwan's only known native bovid. It is widely distributed throughout the island's mountainous regions.
This species is adapted to steep and rugged terrain, where its special hoofs enable it to move freely about rocky slopes and cliffs.

Formosan Serow
Binomial name:Capricornis swinhoei
Family: Bovidae

Papaya Milk

2019-10

Papaya Milk

Text|Wang One・Illustrate|Wanyun

Papaya milk is a smoothie made from papaya, milk, crushed ice, and sometimes sugar. This “must-try” Taiwanese beverage, which can be bought in shops and from vendors on the streets and night markets, is very refreshing on hot summer days. It is best to consume as soon as it is served, before it coagulates into a tofu-like texture.