The Alishan area doesn’t have the international dining options of Taiwan’s big cities. Rather, local cuisine reflects the honest, hard-working and down-to-earth character of Alishan’s people. After a day of sightseeing and hiking, nothing goes down better than super-fresh greens cultivated in the region’s pristine environment, served with local specialities like succulent chicken fried in tea oil.
The Tsou ethnic group has its own way of cooking. Like other aboriginal tribes, traditionally they lived by snaring and trapping wild animals, and gathering wild vegetables quite unlike those grown in the lowlands. Hunting and foraging habits still influence what the Tsou eat, and what they serve in their eateries. Roasted mountain boar, flash-fried freshwater shrimp and unique salads make for a deliciously memorable feast!
Tea doesn’t merely give many of Alishan’s hillsides their distinctive appearances. It’s also the area’s most famous and lucrative crop, with some of the world’s finest and most expensive oolong teas being grown here by third-generation farmers. Several keep their doors open, and welcome visitors eager for an informal tasting. Coffee is also grown in this part of Taiwan.
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