In addition to the fruit were beautiful displays of familiar vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and corn, but also 2-foot-long green beans, long, skinny eggplant, Asian greens, gourds and melons, and gigantic turnips and carrots.
I thought some of the carrots that wound up in our crisper at home were big, but they were little twigs compared to these two-inch-thick beauties.
We held an exotic fruit tasting at breakfast the next morning, and I got to try passionfruit, pommelo, tangerines and dragonfruit.
All the pictures I’d seen of dragonfruit during my four years at The Packer showed white flesh dotted with tiny black seeds, so I was shocked when our dragonfruit turned out to be bright purple on the inside.
As colorful as it was, however, it didn’t have much flavor.
My visit drew to a close all too soon, but I had a fascinating time seeing various aspects of Taiwanese culture and noting differences and similarities between their customs and ours in the U.S.
When I stop by the neighborhood grocery to pick up dinner ingredients after work I don’t fight my way through an open-air market that also features cuttlefish, live eels and chickens with the feet and heads still on that are custom-chopped while you wait.
On the other hand, the Taiwanese supermarket I visited looked much like any in the U.S.
It’s nice to find similarities between your country and another, but it’s the differences that give us the most opportunity to learn.
Some of the produce-related things I most enjoyed seeing on my trip — like wax apples, purple dragonfruit and cans of asparagus juice — were things I never knew existed before I left home.
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