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Gua Bao

2019-09

Gua Bao

Text|Wei-Lin Lee・Illustrate|Wanyun

The meat-filled Taiwanese traditional snack, gua bao is also called “hu ya ju” (tiger bites pig) because it looks like the jaw of a tiger biting a piece of pork. The Taiwanese eat gua bao at the end of the year to signify eating up all the misfortunes from the past year and leaving a clean plate for good things to come.

Yushan Barberry

2019-09

Yushan Barberry

©莊信賢

©莊信賢

Text |Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

Named after Yushan where it was first discovered, the Yushan Barberry mostly grows at high-altitude mountain areas of the Central Mountain Range. In late spring and early summer, mountain hikers may find bright yellow flowers blooming on this shrub and glossy red berries during autumn. Be careful while approaching it, it has thorns to protect itself.

In late spring and early summer, mountain hikers may find bright yellow flowers blooming on this shrub and glossy red berries during autumn. Be careful while approaching it, it has thorns to protect itself.

Yushan Barberry
Binomial name:Gentiana arisanensis Hayata
Family: Gentianaceae 

Gû-lı̍k (Taiwanese Ladyfinger)

2019-08

Gû-lı̍k (Taiwanese Ladyfinger)

Text|Roger Kuo・Illustrate|Bebo

The name of the pastry Gû-lı̍k was transliterated into Taiwanese from the last word of the French pastry on which it is based, the “biscuit à la cuillère,” during the Japanese ruling period. Gû-lı̍k have a taste and texture reminiscent of their European predecessor. They can be discovered sitting on shelves of Taiwanese style pastry vendors.

Taiwan Firecrest

2019-08

Taiwan Firecrest

©Stephen Yang

©Stephen Yang

Text |Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

The Taiwan Firecrest, which has an average size of 9 cm in length and 7 grams in weight, is the tiniest of Taiwan's endemic birds. Its name comes from its most distinguishing feature, a flame-like orange-yellow crest that stands on top of a male bird's head when it gets excited.

Taiwan Firecrest
Binomial name: Regulus goodfellowi
Family: Regulidae 

Alishan Gentian

2019-07

Alishan Gentian

©莊信賢

©莊信賢

Text |Cynthia LaiConsultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

Alishan Gentian is an alpine plant you may encounter during a hike in the mountains of Taiwan's Central Range. The plant, which sprouts from the rocks of scree-covered slopes, can be recognized by its trumpet-shaped blossoms of various colors, usually deep blue or azure, but sometimes purple or violet.

Alishan Gentian
Binomial name:Gentiana arisanensis Hayata
Family: Gentianaceae 

Aiyu Jelly

2019-07

Aiyu Jelly

Text|Roger Kuo・Illustrate|Wanyun Chen

Aiyu jelly is a traditional summertime dessert loved by the Taiwanese. The jelly is made from a yellowish transparent gel found in jelly fig seeds and usually served with honey-sweetened iced lemonade in a bowl or cup. It is a refreshing thirst-quenching remedy for a hot summer day.

Taiwanese Oyster Fritter

2019-06

Taiwanese Oyster Fritter

Text|Wei-Lin Lee・Illustrate|Bebo

The Taiwanese oyster fritter is a local street food delicacy easily found in the coastal cities and towns of western Taiwan. Several oysters are deep fried in a batter containing various chopped vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, Chinese chives, and spring onions. Top a fritter with some chili sauce, and it will wow your taste-buds!

Collared Bush Robin

2019-06

Collared Bush Robin

©鍾文傑

©鍾文傑

Consultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

These birds are endemic to the subalpine forest zone in Taiwan. They are active and frequently spotted near forest edges and along the mountain roadsides and parks. The adult male is brightly colored, while the female is a duller olive brown. Their breeding season begins in April and lasts until July.

©陳文

©陳文

Collared Bush Robin
Binomial name:Tarsiger johnstoniae
Family: Muscicapidae

Broad-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly

2019-05

Broad-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly

Text|Cynthia Lai・Photo|李興漢《臺灣蝴蝶拉丁學名考釋》
Consultant|Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

Discovered and named by Japanese entomologists in the 1930s, the broad-tailed swallowtail butterfly is mostly found fluttering elegantly in the mid-altitude forests of central and northern Taiwan. The specific epithet 'maraho' means 'chieftain' in Taiwanese indigenous Atayal tribe language indicating its unique position among the butterflies of Taiwan.

Broad-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly
Binomial name:Papilio maraho
Family: Papilionidae

Wheel Pie

2019-05

Wheel Pie

Text|Wei-Lin Lee Illustrate|Wanyun

Originating from the Japanese snack, imagawayaki, the Taiwanese wheel pie is one of the commonly found street snacks.  It is often stuffed with either a sweet or savory filling and served freshly baked. The most frequently seen fillings are red bean paste, custard, pickled radish, sweet taro paste, or cheese.