October 02, 2009

Experts note Taiwan's lack of porridge

In international news, the TBS and CTS news networks are reporting on the grits-eating competition held in Bossier City, Louisiana last month. Reports translated "grits" as 麥片粥 and 麥片糊, which both mean "oatmeal", despite the fact that grits is made from corn. This translation is not surprising, given the non-availability of grits and other hot porridges in Taiwan.

Grits eating competition

Even at Jason's Market Place, where most foreign foods can be found, I have not found grits, corn meal, Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice. Taiwanese experts respond by noting that congee, a rice porridge, is the preferred porridge of Chinese peoples. However, foreign experts question whether Taiwanese-style congee is really a porridge or just watery rice (稀飯) and point to reports showing a 60% probability that "congee" is a fake word. In an effort to avoid looking like a food chauvinist, foreign experts also concede that millet porridge, which is a bona fide porridge found in Taiwan, is pretty good.

Millet porridge from flicker user strwang.



  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Scott, at October 06, 2009 3:03 PM  

  • You can buy grits in any of the larger traditional produce markets in any of the larger towns in Taiwan. In Taipei, I buy grits at 南門市場 (NanMen Market, on Roosevelt Road, near CKS Hall).

    The vendors that sell dried peas, beans and lentils almost always have yellow corn grits, same as we eat in Dixieland. They also have "polenta" at health food stores and Welcome supermarkets, which is basically the same thing.

    The vendors who sell grits usually also have dried black-eyed peas. But it's always hard for me to enjoy the dried peas- because nothing comes close to Grandma's black-eyed peas-- homegrown and cooked with the green husks on, and with a bit of salt pork....

    Ok, at the same market, the fresh produce stand has fresh okra......Southern 'soul food'

    By Blogger Scott, at October 06, 2009 3:18 PM  

  • Thanks for the info. I'll have to try the morning market. Polenta might be too fine for making good cornbread, but I will give it a try too.

    As for okra, the only way I really like it is how my grandma made it, cornmeal-fried.

    By Blogger Taiwanonymous, at October 06, 2009 8:41 PM  

  • Thanks for that, Scott! I occasionally stop by such markets and vendors to buy beans for chili, but never noticed the grits!

    By Blogger 阿牛, at October 07, 2009 8:46 PM  

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