Hakka Cuisine.

Ground tea leaves, peanuts, pumpkin and black and white sesame seeds and other finely milled grains, this type of :tea; is a traditional drink of the Hakkas. Today we・re in Miaoli to explore Hakka cuisine.
In the old days, our ancestors were very frugal. When we had guests there wasn・t much to offer them, so they prepared this kind of tea instead.
The Hakkas are the second largest group of people in Taiwan. They speak Mandarin, but the traditional dialect is Hakka. They are arguably the first settlers of this island.
So this is Hakka tea. I have a problem.
What?
I don・t know if I should say haochi (used to describe solid foods) or haohe (used to describe drinks).
Hakka tea can be had as a drink, a sweet snack with crisped rice or as a savory meal with rice soaked in it.
In Hakka cuisine, rehydrated squid, salted pork and tofu skin stir fried in pork fat and stewed fatty pork are very common dishes.
We used to use pig liver. We would wash it and stir fry it with pineapple and tree ear mushroom. It・s sweet and sour. But most people these days don・t like offal so we・re using lean pork meat.
Traditional Hakkas make religious offerings (which include the above said ingredients) twice a month and food is made out of those offerings. The idea is to be frugal, a value the Hakkas are proud of.
These foods tends to be salty and oily but there・s a reason for that.
Hakka people used to live in the mountains and there was a lot of hard labor that needed to be done, so they need the extra oil and salt in their food.
Because I live in Taipei, it・s possible that I・ve had Hakka dishes here and there, but basically without knowing so. And this time we were really in Hakka land, where we had some of my favorite dishes like intestine. This is delicious. And especially the fatty pork. I really love this one. And I know some people say that it・s more like a winter dish, but not for me. I can have this any day of the year.
 
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