Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Meet Fresh (鮮芋仙)

Another thing I love about Taiwan... shaved ice. While the streets of Taipei are littered with places that serve traditional shaved ice, most are pretty lacking in hygiene or shady in general. To explain what I mean by traditional shaved ice... throw out any conception you might have about Italian ice, or snow cones. In Taiwan, the ice is first shredded to a really fine grain, almost like snow, so small in fact, that you will never feel an individual ice crystal in your mouth. Then the patron is usually given the choice of a variety of toppings, consisting of things like mango, condensed milk, red adzuki beans, green beans, conjac jelly, small yam balls, rice balls, tapioca bubbles, er... there's probably a lot of things I'm forgetting, but I'm actually kind of afraid to venture out of this 'security zone.' Anyway, this is pretty much one of favorite things.

Like I said, most places are pretty two bit and the sanitary conditions could most likely be improved. It's actually a joke that if you eat a 'dirty' ice dish, you stand a good chance of having massive diarrhea... a.k.a. 'winning the lottery.' Back to the point, one place that I feel pretty safe eating at is called 'Meet Fresh' (鮮芋仙). It's kind of a chain store as it has a few locations throughout the city, and it specializes in these dessert ices, teas, and other 'refreshing' snacks, usually of an icy nature. Everything on the menu clocks in at around 50 NT (about $1.50), with some of the more exotic things, I guess, falling closer to 100 NT (like the mango ice, with ice cream on top). Usually, I end up getting a red bean with condensed milk shaved ice, which for 45 NT, is pretty massive. It literally looks like a small mountain of snow on top of a dinner plate 12" across. This time I felt a little more adventerous and went with one of their summer offerings, it ended up being a green mung bean ice base (this sounds gross, but it's not), covered with yam, taro, and gelatinous rice dumplings, which was then covered with condensed milk, and topped with 2 scoops of ice cream, one red bean and one taro. The different flavors work together rather well, and while you'd probably think the taro would be drowned out with the sweetness of the condensed milk, every one of the ingredients can be individually identified. I ended up finishing the bowl in about 5 minutes, which seems fast, but I wanted to make sure it didn't melt first (it's like 100 degrees here!), and I can't say I was disappointed.

If you somehow find yourself in Taiwan, and want a safe haven to grab a shaved ice from (read: if you don't want to sit on the toilet for hours on end), you can comfortably try any of the 30-40 offerings Meet Fresh has. Its mango ice might not stack up against the famous 'Ice Monster' of 永康街 (Yong Kang Street) or of any of the night markets, but it does a fairly good impression. Oh, plus it's cheap and fast enough where you can go everyday... although I wouldn't... it's deviously fattening lol.

As far as my run today... uh, my internet is retarded, so I'll keep this short... good run.

distance for the day: 6.22 miles
distance biked for the day: 0.00 miles

distance on the year: 272.89 miles
distance biked on the year: 142.68 miles


Anonymous said...

i'm hungry

Post a Comment

oh snap. I can control the text here?