Miaoli County

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Miaoli County, as I've said before, is the strawberry capital of Taiwan. Strawberries were brought over to Taiwan in 1958. I read that Miaoli produces 90% of the strawberries in Taiwan. (Interestingly enough, there is a term called "Strawberry generation" here in Taiwan, which loosely translates to the American term "Millennials" or "Generation Y.") After our stop at the reservoir, we drove about 30 minutes to Dahu, another part of Miaoli County, to pick strawberries. We thought it would be a huge strawberry field, but the driver brought us to a small, family-run field (farm) by the side of the highway.

A little girl told us to put on a pair of rubber boots, and gave us these baskets with a cardboard box and scissors to snip the strawberries off their stems.

I saw some of the reddest strawberries I've ever seen in my life here ... I didn't even realize that bright a shade of red existed in nature. My friend tried some of her strawberries when she returned home and said they were incredibly sweet, but instead of testing mine out, I separated them into two boxes to give away.

I'm not sure how much the going rate was per kilogram of strawberries, but I filled up about half a box and the total came to about $6.50. Again, paying to work ... :)

Lastly, we drove to the Strawberry "Museum," which was I had been looking forward to all day. I'd read that they sell strawberry-flavored everything there, and I wanted to try it all.

Employees working on strawberry people trash cans

I tried a strawberry-flavored sausage ($1) ... it was light on the strawberry flavor, though. The sausages here tend to be very sweet as it is. I also sampled some strawberry wine and bought a couple of strawberry-flavored goodies.

Strawberry Suncake

Suncake is one of my (only) favorite Taiwanese desserts. It's this flaky, flat pastry that has a chewy, sweet center made of sugar (honey? I don't really know). All I know is that it's delicious. I was worried, especially judging from the picture on the box, that it would be strawberry jam-filled and just overly sweet, but I was totally wrong. It tasted exactly like a regular suncake, except the chewy inside (and flaky outside) was made with strawberry. Yum!

This is a terrible photo, but I also bought a box of individually wrapped peanut and chocolate-covered strawberry something-filled mochi. Very yummy as well, though a bit sweet.

There was pig-feeding area, a pony-feeding area, and
tons of rides that had nothing to do with strawberries.

Our greatest find, however, was the area past all the kiddie rides ...

One of the things I've always wanted to do in life is to lie in a field of flowers. The flower lots here weren't all that clean and I think I would've been yelled at had I laid down in them, so I didn't. But we spent a very long time here taking photos.

And then we found the driver and asked him to drive us to the Miaoli Train Station, where we boarded the train back to Taipei, back to rain.

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