By: Mays Alejandra
You know you are a true Belizean when you crave those panades (empanadas) from Minchos, Orange Walk tacos, or those meat patties from Dario's. You envy the Belizean in Taiwan posting their Escabeche soup, their Rice and Beans full platter or their ceviche with lime and peppa (pepper) on their Instagram and Facebook Stories.
As much as we miss our AMAZING BELIZEAN soul food, we are able to get some ingredients in Taiwan and recreate our favorite Belizean dishes.
Inspired by my childhood friend, Lissie, who came to Taiwan this school semester, I want to let her and all you new to Formosa know: If you are new in the island, have no idea where to go shopping for this and that, I gotchu!
Thank me in the comment section ;)
1. Florida Bakery, Taipei
This store is popular among Latinos in Taiwan and is one of our favorite places to find corn tortillas and flour tortillas. My seniors introduced me to this bakery back in the days. I did my juniors the same favor and so the newer generations got to know about it. Now you do, too!
Address: No. 23-5號, Section 3, Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 104 Nearest MRT Stops: Yuanshan MRT (Red Line), Ming Chuan W. Road (Red Line)
Daily Opening Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
I heard you can also buy Marie Sharp here? I haven't gotten the chance to check. But for sure you can buy canned beans, refried beans, Thai rice, jalapeños, cilantro (same like ours). You can find other goodies in the imported section. Go wild!
Opening Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
3. EEC, RJ Mart
Bless the Filipinos for their similar tastes. You can get a lot of things in these two stores: peanut butter, Luncheon meat, Vienna Sausage, Cadbury chocolate, Del Monte tomato paste, even Ariel and Suavitel to wash your clothes. If you look Latino, they might even talk to you in Tagalog at the counter. If you speak Spanish you might be tempted to answer "No entiendo" as if they will understand that! Happened to you, too? No?
EEC Opening Hours: 7 am to 9:30 pm
RJ Mart Opening Hours: 7 am to 9:30 pm
4. RT Mart, A-Mart
Far cousin to Carrefour (according to me), if you miss the operating hours of your local market, you can also get your veggies here. Not sure if they sell cilantro. Do they?
RT Mart Opening Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (most stores)
5. PX Mart
I usually go to this store because it is conveniently located near my home. You can find fresh fruits and bread. I am told they have recently started selling olives, carnation, coconut milk, jalapeños etc. We normally go there for the beers. No, not Belikin..sorry for misleading you.
PX Mart Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
If you are a student, I recommend teaming up with some peers to split the products as they are normally sold in pairs or by bulk. Also, depending on whether you will be going every month or every other month, it would make sense to get a membership card. But, if you will seldom go, ask one of your peers with a card to help you buy flour tortillas, corn tortilla chips, cheese, beef patties, bread, or whatever else you fancy from that store.
Opening Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
7. Your local market
Not to be confused with night markets. These are also known among foreigners as "morning markets". You would think that after 9 years of residing in Taiwan, I would know where the plantains are hidden. Turns out, the entire island does not have them! We can find, however, those we call Blogo. These might just do the trick. Of course it is not the same taste and experience as our dear sweet Plantain, but we do with what we can get, right? You can also buy pinto and black beans in some markets, but you have to look for the stores that have crates on top of crates of eggs at the front. Those would have.
Opening hours: Probably as early as 4 a.m. until supplies last or until around 12:00 - 2:00 pm.
8. Shopee, 24/7 Online shopping
Ever heard of this website? Download the App on your phone, use Google translate for searching the key words:
Masa Harina, Red Mill