Tern─ Watching Tour, Matsu

Today Corey and I are in Matsu, watching terns, a kind of seabird. They’re just a short boat ride away, on some rocks and deserted islands. Of the 36 islands in Matsu, only 5 are habited by people, which makes the rest summer retreats and nurseries for the terns. About eight different kinds of terns come back here every July and August.
There are lots of Greater Crested Terns this year. The fabled Chinese Crested Tern is somewhere among them. It takes some effort to spot them. What are those with the red feet? Those are the Roseate Terns. They’re constantly on the hunt for fish to feed their young. We’re at the mouth of the Min River, where fresh and sea water mix so there is a lot of plankton here, which attracts fish.
So every summer terns come Matsu to breed, eat tasty fish and go for nice cool dips in the ocean. Sounds like a good life. But we don’t have it so bad either. Next stop, wine tasting.
Matsu’s known for its “laojiu,” a traditionally homemade liquor from Fuzhou that is around 30 proof. It’s made with glutinous rice for its high sugar content and water and red yeast. You put it all together in a ceramic pot, mix it every two to three days for the first two weeks or so. Soon the water will turn into alcohol and start to separate from the rice. One month later, it’s ready to be filtered, sterilized and aged.
In addition to drinking, laojiu is often used in cooking.
For example, laojiu can be added to noodle soup to give it an extra punch and warmth. The by product of laojiu, red yeast and glutinous rice can be used to flavor fish and meats.
Matsu is mainly what I expected, but it had more differences in culture than I did expect. When you think of Taiwan, you think of everything being Taiwanese but really Matsu is a Matsu culture. Birdwatching - I’d never seen isolated bird flocks before so it was interesting to see birds where there is not tons of people around them. There were people taking pictures but it was more peaceful of an experience than I’m used to. I like birds, I like nature, so I enjoyed them.
 
生態賞鷗暨海上看馬祖

坐月子,作spa,還吃大餐,聽起來馬祖的燕鷗命真好。不過我們也不錯啦。接著我們要去品酒。

馬祖老酒很有名,來自福州,算是種家常酒,酒精濃度大約15%。只要有紅麴,糯米,和水,在家裡也能自己釀。把這三樣全部放進陶甕,每兩三天攪拌一下,持續兩個禮拜,酒和紅麴和糯米會開始分離,一個月後就可以過濾,蒸煮,存放。

老酒其實還有個用處,可以燒菜。
比如說,老酒可以加在麵線裡面,添加點風味和營養。而剩下的紅麴和糯米可以和魚或肉一起烹調。

馬祖跟我想像的差不多,不過文化上的差異比我想像中還要大。說到台灣,大家想到的就是台灣的文化,不過馬祖有馬祖自己的文化。賞鳥,我沒有看過這樣的鳥群,一般都是很多人圍繞在附近,不過這裡只有幾個人在拍照,跟平常我習慣的樣子比起來,這邊寧靜多了。我喜歡鳥,我喜歡大自然,所以我玩得還蠻開心的。