RCMP are heading to a remote lake in northern Labrador to investigate a plane crash that occurred there on Monday, July 15.
There were seven people on the plane when it crashed—three Canadians and four passengers from the United States. According to the RCMP, the plane left a fishing lodge in Quebec on Monday morning for a remote fishing camp on Mistastin Lake in northern Labrador. It was reported overdue when it failed to return in the evening.
It is currently unknown what caused the floatplane to crash into Mistastin Lake and whether it crashed on its way to the fishing camp or on the way back.
The aircraft was owned by Air Sanguenay, a regional airline from Northern Quebec. The company’s chief executive Jean Tremblay told CBC that the pilot, Gilles Morin, 66, had been flying to and from Mistastin Lake for at least six years.
The bodies of three of the seven men were recovered by the Maritime Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, which handed over the investigation to the RCMP late Tuesday.
The tail and other debris from the plane were spotted in the lake on Tuesday, according to the Canadian Press, and the Maritimes Forces Atlantic scanned the lake and surroundings for survivors.
The RCMP underwater recovery team, Labrador’s general investigation unit, and air services are headed to the area today to investigate the crash and search for the remaining four missing people, according to the RCMP. The teams and their equipment were supposed to move to the remote crash site Thursday, but high winds and heavy rain prevented them from reaching the site, said an RCMP Facebook statement.
#RCMPNL to lead search for victims of plane crash in remote area of Labrador.
Because the area where the plane crashed is in a remote region of Labrador, it is only accessibly by air. It is approximately 100 kilometres southwest of Nain, the nearest place with an airport.
The RCMP said a “team of expert police divers, investigators, and search and rescue personnel” will be involved. Some of the equipment they will be using include side scan sonar and boats, all of which need to be transported by air.
The Mounties provided the following general information on the seven people in the plane:
Pilot: a 66-year-old Quebec man who is still missing;
Fishing Guide: A 50-year-old man from Newfoundland acting as a guide who is still missing;
Fishing Guide: A 47-year-old man from Newfoundland acting as a guide who’s body was recovered;
Passenger:a 67-year-old man from New Jersey whose body was recovered;
Passenger: a 66-year-old man from Illinois whose body was recovered;
Passenger: a 40-year-old man from Indiana who is still missing;
Passenger: a 38-year-old man from Illinois who is still missing.
Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) will be investigating the cause of the crash. According to CBC, TSB investigators will travel to the area after the plane is recovered.
“The investigators will look at the aircraft, document what they see, take pictures; they may decide to take a part of the aircraft back to our lab here in Ottawa,” TSB spokesperson Alex Fournier told CBC.
An Australian mother fell brutally ill after eating chicken that wasn’t fully cooked.
Twenty-five-year-old Alyssa Lee is said to have purchased the chicken from a KFC in Townsville, Australia, on April 16 as a treat for her family to enjoy while watching a Harry Potter marathon reported Daily Mail.
She says she noticed the chicken was undercooked after breaking up a piece of thigh for her young son. She had already eaten two pieces.
Alyssa, who is also a veterinary science student, claims she tried calling the store a number of times that day and the next, but was unable to get in touch with anyone.
“Finally on the second day of trying someone answered and they asked me to send through the pictures,” Alyssa said. “I sent them through to a mobile number and didn’t receive a reply so I went down to the store.”
Upon arrival she spoke with the store manager who asked her to fill out and an incident report, and also asked if she would like to be refunded or have her order replaced.
“I said I wanted a refund because I wasn’t interested in eating KFC any more as it put me off,” Alyssa added.
The store manager then told her “what’s probably happened is the chef hasn’t popped the bone and then she screwed the incident form up.”
Alyssa says things “escalated from there,” and she began feeling “incredibly unwell.”
“When it was worst, I had my head in a toilet bowl most of the day,” she said. “If I wasn’t in the toilet I was in bed. I had to ask friends and family to look after my son because I couldn’t,” she went on to say.
Alyssa was later diagnosed with intestinal infections, food poisoning, and had a parasite. She also says that in the months following the incident, she continues to experience symptoms.
According to The Sun Best, Alyssa revealed in a Facebook post that she was pursuing legal action, “This post has been approved by my solicitor and does NOT fall under defamation/slander. I was absolutely sure to run all of this past him first.
“I currently have a law suit happening as I purchased raw chicken back in April which made me incredibly sick for weeks. I contracted 3 stomach infections and a parasite.
“Spent weeks fighting these off, had to take medication I was allergic to as it was the only one that would get rid of the parasite, which I had to have 3 rounds of.”
Alyssa claims to also be in contact with others who share grievance towards the fast food chain.
“I didn’t do this for money. I’ve never claimed for compensation in my life. No one in my family would do this for money,” said Alyssa. “I want to prove negligence because what is happening is disgusting. Since my food poisoning, I have heard so many worrying similar stories.”
She went on to say “I was sick for about four weeks and had to go on three rounds of medication but I still experience bouts of nausea and vomiting now—three months on.”
A KFC spokesperson has denied the allegations and doesn’t believe Alyssa’s symptoms were the result of eating the chicken.
“We are sorry to learn of Mrs Lee’s illness, but we do not believe this was caused by KFC,” said the spokesperson. “As this is a legal issue, we cannot comment further.”
In a statement from Glenn Brown, a solicitor from the firm representing Alyssa said, “We believe consumers have a right to expect that the foods they purchase and consume will be safe and of high quality.”
“Stringent consumer law protections exist in Queensland for that very reason, and we are there to assist those who have been injured when those standards are not met,” he added.
“Unfortunately, food poisoning incidents are not uncommon and people can underestimate its seriousness as a result,” Brown added, “But the reality is that food poisoning can be extremely serious, even fatal.
“It can leave people with post-infectious conditions for years afterwards. Most importantly, there is no excuse for it, because it is entirely preventable if retailers comply with safe food handling standards.”
BRUSSELS—The European Union cannot ignore China’s National Intelligence Law, which requires Chinese citizens to support state information-gathering, as Brussels seeks rules for super-fast mobile networks, a senior EU official said on July 19.
EU governments are debating ways to protect next-generation mobile networks from any possible Chinese interference, caught between a U.S. demand they shun China’s Huawei and growing Sino-European business ties.
Julian King, the EU’s commissioner in charge of security, said laws in the countries that will supply future technology for the 5G networks will be part of discussions before the Europe Commission makes formal proposals later this year.
“When we think about the overall security of products and supplies from different sources, we can think of their legal regime,” he told a news conference.
“In China, they have a national intelligence law that puts broad requirements on organizations to support and collaborate on national intelligence work and it’s a particular legal legislative framework which is relevant,” he said.
Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment and whose 5G gear is considered more advanced and cheaper than its European rivals, is eager not to be restricted from the EU, its biggest overseas market.
Huawei says it supports EU efforts to draw up security standards for 5G.
Catherine Chen, a Huawei senior vice president, said that in Europe, Huawei has signed 28 contracts to provide 5G, which is set to link up everything from vehicles to factories at far greater speeds.
The Chinese regime denies any intention to spy on the West and has said a ban on Chinese 5G suppliers in the United States and Australia is unfounded.
However, according to an internal European Commission document reviewed by Reuters in January, China’s National Intelligence Law states that Chinese “organizations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, cooperate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work.”
Britain’s National Security Council discussed the issue in April and a decision was made to block Huawei from all critical parts of the 5G network but to give it restricted access to less sensitive parts. A final decision is still pending.
President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on July 19 that he is trying to secure the release of American rapper A$AP Rocky who was arrested in Sweden.
Trump made the revelation amid a White House event to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.
The president said the issue was first brought to his attention by his wife, as well as his African-American friends who had personally called him for help to release the rapper—whose real name is Rakim Mayers.
“Actually, the one that knew about A$AP Rocky first was our First Lady. She told me, ‘Can you help A$AP Rocky?’” Trump said before asking Melania if she wanted to make a statement.
Melania said she had been working with the State Department to get the rapper released. Rocky was born in Harlem, New York City.
“We hope to get him home soon,” she said.
Trump noted the good relationship he had with Sweden’s leadership and said they have “already started” talks with them in relation to the rapper’s situation.
“I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky, but I can tell you that he has tremendous support from the African American community in this country,” he added. “When I say African American, I think I can really say from everybody in this country because we’re all one.”
“I have been called by so many people to help A$AP Rocky,” the president said.
A day before Trump’s comments, Kim Kardashian West took to Twitter to thank Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House adviser Jared Kushner for their commitment to free Rocky.
“Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated,” she added in the Twitter post.
Pompeo is reportedly taking the lead on Rocky’s detention situation, according to a July 18 Axios report. An anonymous source told the outlet that Trump had told his team he wanted the issue to be resolved. Rocky’s team is also in touch with the White House, the source said.
According to Politico, Rocky was arrested on July 2 after he turned himself into authorities for questioning about a street fight he was apparently involved in.
A person close to the rapper told Politico that Rocky and his entourage were in Stockholm for a music festival and “minding their own business” while walking in the city when they were verbally harassed by two men that had started following them. A fight later broke out.
The Justice Department announced on July 19 that roughly 3,100 U.S. inmates, including many convicted of drug offenses, will be released early from federal prisons for good behavior under a criminal justice reform law signed last year by Trump.
Officials detailed the early impact of the law, passed with bipartisan support in Congress last December and championed by criminal justice advocates across the political spectrum, to help reduce sentencing disparities for low-level offenses historically with higher conviction rates for racial minorities.
In addition to the good behavior releases, officials said more than 1,691 inmates have had their sentences reduced after a provision in the law retroactively recalculated sentences to reduce disparities between those who committed crimes involving crack versus powder cocaine. Those convicted for crack offenses historically have been more likely to be a racial minority.
The law, called the First Step Act, eases harsh sentencing rules for non-violent offenders and requires the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons to implement new programs to help reduce recidivism. It also required the bureau to retroactively recalculate good behavior credits, a step that reduces some sentences by up to 54 days per year.
“Everybody said it couldn’t be done. They said the conservatives won’t approve it, they said the liberals won’t approve it,” Trump told reporters at the White House in December last year. “They said nobody’s going to approve it, everybody’s gonna be against it. It’s been many many years and nobody came close.”
Adherents of the ancient Chinese meditation practice of Falun Gong came together in Ottawa this week to protest 20 years of a violent persecution campaign against their fellow adherents in China.
Gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy on July 18, the yellow-clad practitioners demonstrated their cause by putting up banners and performing the practice’s traditional slow-moving exercises.
Joining them were two prominent Canadian human rights activists: Alex Neve, the Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, and Rabbi Dr. Reuven Bulka, the leader of Congregation Machzikei Hadas in Ottawa and an author of more than 30 books.
The rally marked the 20th anniversary of the persecution campaign launched against Falun Gong adherents by the Chinese Communist Party on July 20, 1999. A statement issued by the Falun Dafa Association of Canada says the aim of the campaign is to eradicate Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline also called Falun Dafa that espouses the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
“Millions have been abducted or imprisoned, hundreds of thousands have been tortured or suffered terrible abuse in custody, and thousands have been tortured to death—and those are just the cases we know about,” the statement says.
Neve opened his speech by saying, “This is an anniversary we should not be marking. This is an anniversary that should not be happening.”
“We gather to commemorate 20 years, but we never should have even made it to one year. Because we are marking 20 years of unrelenting, cruel, human rights violations—two decades of the Chinese government persisting with a campaign of vilification, persecution, and violence against Falun Gong practitioners,” he said.
Neve brought up the issue of Sun Qian, a Canadian citizen and Falun Gong practitioner who has been incarcerated in China for over two years. He described Sun’s case as one of “deep concern” due to the fact that “she, like virtually all Falun Gong prisoners, has been subject to torture, cruel treatment, harsh prison conditions, and a wholly unfair legal system.”
He also mentioned Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in China who have close family members in Canada, such as Paul Li and Hongyan Lu, both residents of Toronto.
“I have been here in front of the Embassy in past years with Paul Li, whose father Li Xiaobo is imprisoned, and with Hongyan Lu, whose mother Huixia Chen, also remains imprisoned,” he said.
“I hold Sun Qian, Li Xiaobo, and Huixia Chen close in my heart as we gather here today to mark this sombre anniversary.”
Rabbi Bulka, as the past chair of the Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ontario’s organ and tissue donation agency, talked about the issue of forced organ harvesting in China, where Falun Gong prisoners of conscience are targeted to fuel the country’s multi-billion dollar, state-sanctioned organ harvesting industry. According to several investigations, including by former Canadian MP David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas, the victims are kept alive while the organ is removed so that the organ remains fresh, then die after the removal.
“I’ve been involved now in organ donation for so many years. … Any organization that says, ‘Come to us, and for about $200,000 we’ll give you a new kidney, and then if that new kidney doesn’t work, we’ll have another backup kidney for you in another week’—that’s impossible,” Bulka said, referring to the extraordinary speed with which organs can be procured in China.
“Here in Canada, in Ontario, we’re very well advanced, and if you get a kidney within two or three years, you’re lucky,” he explained. “Anybody who says, ‘I’ll give you another kidney in a week after that if it doesn’t work,’ is totally crazy unless they have a whole army of people that they’re ready to kill in order for those organs to be available.”
“Members of the Falun Gong are being murdered so that others can live. This is a tragedy, and a horror, and an atrocity beyond belief.”
‘End This Atrocity Right Now’
Both men ended their speeches with a message that reflected the purpose of the rally: to spur the Canadian government to publicly call on the Chinese regime to end the Falun Gong persecution campaign.
Neve described the persecution as “20 years of sorrow and suffering.” “But,” he noted, “twenty years, as well, of resilience, determination, and a deep commitment to human rights. Twenty years of coming back here no matter what, to make the simple, compelling and irrefutable demand: End the crackdown. Respect human rights.”
“End this atrocity right now—not tomorrow and not the day after tomorrow, but right now,” Bulka said, while encouraging practitioners to remain strong.
“You have not given up,” he said. “Never give up. You be relentless, you be forceful, you be determined, and you be obstinate and say, ‘These are our people, we represent them, we feel for them, we are fighting for them, and we will fight to the finish to make sure that they become free.”
Human Rights and Trade
In an interview after the event, Neve said that despite escalating tensions between China and Canada in recent months, it’s imperative that Ottawa put human rights at the forefront in its dealings with Beijing.
“We all know that this is a very difficult time in the Canada-China relationship, and there are many factors that Canada is balancing in navigating the strings that now exist between Beijing and Ottawa, but certainly today we reiterate that it’s very important that human rights needs to be at the forefront of everything in the Canada-China relationship,” he said—including trade.
“I think many of us have had concerns for far too many years now that in the relationship, trade too often takes precedence over human rights concerns—it’s uncomfortable or awkward to raise or press human rights issues when the major preoccupation is increasing trade and deepening investment.
“I think it’s absolutely imperative that’s trade-off come to an end, and instead Canada pursue a trade relationship with China that includes human rights considerations at every single step that would mean that we are using all openings, all opportunities to leverage human rights concerns, including when trade is on the table.”
Bulka said in an interview that it’s regrettable that Bill S240—legislation that seeks to criminalize organ tourism—failed to pass before the parliamentary session ended for summer.
“This is a life and death issue. People are being killed. As we’re speaking, they’re being killed in order to supply organs for people who pay, so every day is a wasted day. Every day, people are dying unnecessarily. So this is—it is an emergency,” he said.
“It’s a shame that [the bill] didn’t get through because I have no doubt that when the law is in place … that there will be less people coming for [organs], less of a demand, and that means less people being killed.”
The boy’s intestines were perforated. They were forced to immediately operate and found four injured areas.
In the procedure, surgeons were able to remove the magnetic items.
“This kind of tiny magnetic ball is quite dangerous for [a] kid because it has strong magnetic power,” the doctor was quoted by the paper as saying. “If a child eats just one ball then he can excrete [it] easily, but usually kids eat several balls which attach in a shape, damaging the stomach and intestines.”
The boy is now recovering after the surgery.
His mother reportedly said, “It was my fault to buy this dangerous toy for him and not notice him eating them.”
It’s not clear what kind of magnetic balls the child had swallowed, but there are a number of magnetic ball toys.
The case highlights the fact that more and more young children are being admitted into emergency rooms across because they have swallowed batteries, toys, coins, and other items, according to a new study.
One researcher, Dr. Danielle Orsagh-Yentis, the lead author and a gastrointestinal physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, said that an increasing number of products have button-sized batteries such as TV remotes, digital thermometers, and remote-controlled toys, according to The Associated Press.
In 2015, there were 43,000 ER visits among children under the age of 6 in the United States. In 1995, there were 22,000, according to a study published in mid-April in the journal, Pediatrics, CBS News reported.
The rate increased from about 10 per 10,000 ER visits to 18 per 10,000 visits, CBS noted.
Small high-powered magnets are among the most dangerous objects for children, according to one expert, as they can pinch together inside intestines and cause internal damage. They can even create holes, leading to blood poisoning.
“They can go through the esophagus into the stomach and GI [gastrointestinal] tract,” Dr. Amyna Husain, a pediatric emergency medicine physician, told CBS.
Girl Hospitalized Over Bubble Tea
A 14-year-old Chinese girl was hospitalized after she was constipated for five days, according to AsiaOne in a June 6 report, citing local media outlets.
The girl from Zhejiang Province said she couldn’t eat, had stomach pains, and other symptoms, the report said. Her parents finally took her to the hospital on May 28.
After an X-ray was performed, doctors spherical shapes in her abdomen. Doctors said that the round shadows were undigested tapioca pearls from bubble tea that she had consumed days prior.
The girl said that she had the bubble tea about five days before her health problems surfaced, AsiaOne reported.
The girl was then given laxatives to relieve her of the symptoms, it was reported.
Bubble tea pearls are generally made of starchy tapioca, which can be difficult for the body to digest.
In 2015, there was a scandal involving bubble tea pearls, where a TV reporter in China’s Shandong Province found undigested pearls present in her stomach during a CT scan. An investigation revealed that the tapioca “pearls” were made from old tires and soles of leather shoes.
Iran has said that it has seized a British oil tanker, according to news reports on July 19.
The country’s Revolutionary Guards said it seized the tanker, the Stena Impero, which went off course and went into Iranian territorial waters, the Guardian reported.
The report said it was traveling near the Strait of Hormuz.
The owners of the ship said in a statement that it was “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,” according to the report.
“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and its manager, Northern Marine, added.
Iran also said that it seized the vessel “at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules,” reported state-run PressTV.
Britain said it was urgently seeking further information after reports that a British-flagged tanker had taken a turn into Iranian waters.
“We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said on Friday.
Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management can confirm that at approximately 1600 BST on 19th July UK registered vessel Stena Impero (built 2018, 49,683 DWT) was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters. We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.
There are 23 seafarers aboard. There have been no reported injuries and their safety is of primary concern to both owners and managers. The priority of both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management is the safety and welfare of the crew.
Northern Marine Management has not been able to establish contact directly with the vessel since it was notified of the incident at approximately 1600 Today, 19th July 2019.
We are in close contact with UK government authorities.
Officials are investigating a matter involving a dog tied to the back of a moving tow truck on a freeway after a photo of the pup went viral on social media, where it sparked a wave of online outrage.
Michael Gerry took a photo of “what looked like a stuffed animal” on the back of a tow truck in Waltham, Mass. But when Gerry realized it was a real dog, he told WHDH his “blood pressure went through the roof.”
The photo shows a dog sitting on the back of a tow truck flatbed while chained to the vehicle. There is also a van on the flatbed. The photo was taken while on the freeway on Route 95, according to a Facebook post by the Massachusetts State Police.
Gerry said he wasn’t able to catch the driver’s attention and then lost the truck when it exited the freeway.
“So I am beeping the horn, trying to get this guy’s attention,” he said. “He’s not even paying any attention to me. So, traffic started moving and I had to keep going. I couldn’t get in front of him or behind him,” he told WHDH.
He called the police then uploaded the photo to Facebook on July 17.
“I posted it on Facebook for my buddies to just kind of put it out there and it went unreal… it went ballistic,” he said.
The truck belongs to Ramsay’s Towing, a Waltham-based business, which has reportedly been flooded with calls by people expressing their outrage. The company released a statement saying the driver had been fired on its Facebook page, which appears to have since been deleted.
“We have just been made aware of the photo that is circulating on Facebook,” Ramsay’s Towing said in a Facebook post, as cited by WCVB. “We do not support the driver’s actions and he was terminated immediately.”
The owner of Ramsay’s Towing, Justin Ramsay, told Boston 25 News the dog belongs to the tow truck driver. Ramsay said the dog was chained to the bed of the tow truck because the cab was full.
Investigating ‘Actively and Aggressively’
Massachusetts State Police were cited by WCVB as saying they were investigating the incident “actively and aggressively.”
“Troop A of the Massachusetts State Police continues to investigate circumstances surrounding a dog being transported on the open flatbed of a tow truck on Route 95 yesterday,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “Law enforcement officers from the Animal Rescue League of Boston are also conducting their own investigation,” it added.
“The dual investigations aim to determine who was responsible for the dog being carried on the open flatbed, the owner and condition of the animal, and whether law enforcement action is warranted against anyone responsible.”
“We are trying to find out how many times that was done so we know of two. That’s been a violation of the law for years,””Lieutenant Alan Borgal, director of Law Enforcement, told the broadcaster.
Gerry told the news outlet he is animal lover and hopes he can speak for animals who can’t speak for themselves.
“The only reason I’m doing this–somebody needs to be a voice for the animal so that’s what I’m doing because they don’t have a voice. It’s just not right, plain and simple,” Gerry told CBS. “There was enough slack on that leash that that dog could have easily fallen off the side and been caught up in the tire and he would have never known.
“An animal is part of your family,” he said, adding, “He deserves more than just losing his job.”
Some of the fury has spread to an unrelated towing business in Kansas bearing a similar name: Ramsey Towing.
“NO THIS IS NOT US,” wrote Ramsey Towing on its Facebook page. “We have been getting many messages / posts about this photo & it clearly states they are based out of Waltham M.A. we are out of Douglass, KS,” the company added.
“And it’s spelled Ramsey not RAMSAY,” the page admin wrote, adding, “we are a pet friendly company, we have been known to let pigs, sugar glider monkeys and many dogs ride in the cab of our tow trucks.”
“I can only imagine some of the crazy messages you guys have been getting,” wrote one person in a comment.
“This whole thing amazes me,” the company continued. “I’m still receiving posts and messages from people who believe this is our truck. I’m not sure why our page keeps popping up lol we are a mom and son owned tow service from a small town of 1200 people, we are not used to this much attention.”
“I think it was a suggested spelling for me,” another person wrote. “Probably because so many people have already looked it up and don’t know how to spell Ramsay correctly. I guess enjoy the free fame?”
The island nation of Taiwan may only be one-fourth the physical size of Florida, but it has an extraordinarily diverse cuisine that’s a combination of indigenous, Chinese, Japanese, and Western flavors and styles.
The island’s culinary traditions have been enriched, in turn, by the Dutch and the Japanese, who colonized the island for different periods of time; early Fujian, Hoklo, and Hakka immigrants from southern China; and a wave of new Chinese immigrants in the 1940s.
The Taiwanese people are known for taking pleasure in delicious food. Thus, culinary delights are aplenty, found in both Michelin-starred restaurants and the many unassuming street stalls that populate Taiwan’s beloved night markets. In fact, many hidden gems of Taiwanese cuisine can be found in the island’s charming small towns.
While no short list could possibly do justice to the breadth of Taiwan’s cuisine, here’s a small selection of unique Taiwanese offerings to whet your appetite.
Sea creatures abound in the waters surrounding Taiwan, from the warm Kuroshio current flowing along Taiwan’s eastern coast to the nutrient-rich continental shelf west of the island.
One of the best places to try Taiwan’s delicious seafood is the Keelung Night Market, in the northern port city of Keelung. You can also head to Keelung City’s fishing port, where local fishermen hawk their daily catches at Bisha Fish Market.
Further south, on the western coast of Taiwan, is Dongshih Township, the oyster capital of Taiwan. For any visitor to the island, a must-try street food is the oyster omelet, a savory dish studded with fresh, briny oysters and topped with a tangy sauce.
More delectable seafood can be found at Donggang Township, Pingtung County, at the southernmost part of the island. Donggang is one of Taiwan’s largest fishing harbors, and it’s famous for its bluefin tuna, which makes for delicious sashimi.
Donggang is also one of the only two fishing harbors in the world that have sakura shrimp, small pink prawns that resemble the color of Japanese cherry blossoms. Sakura shrimp contain much more calcium than ordinary shrimp, making them good for people with weak bones or children who need a calcium boost.
The Hakka people are the second-largest ethnic group in Taiwan. They emphasize texture in their cuisine, and they are known for naturally bringing out the flavor of meat and cooking it thoroughly without letting it become tough.
Traditionally, Hakka dishes tend to be salty, rich, and fragrant. In earlier eras, most Hakka people were farmers who toiled laboriously in the fields every day, so they made highly flavorful dishes to boost their appetites and replenish their bodies after their work.
A signature Hakka dish, for instance, is Hakka-style stir-fry, a savory mix that includes dried squid and fatty slices of pork belly, made aromatic with green onions, soy sauce, and rice wine.There’s also Hakka salty rice ball soup, made with soft and chewy rice balls filled with savory ground meat. You can easily find these delicious dishes in most Hakka villages in Taiwan.
Another famous specialty in Hakka towns is bantiao, thick white noodles made from rice flour—other noodles in Taiwan are typically made with wheat.
A classic Hakka beverage, meanwhile, is lei-cha, a nutrient-filled drink made with tea leaves, grains, dried fruits, and nuts and seeds. The ingredients are ground up, traditionally using a mortar and pestle, and mixed with hot water to brew into a thick, nourishing drink.
Diverse Fruits and Desserts
Taiwan has a subtropical climate and an extraordinarily diverse geography—a combination of mountains, plains, valleys, and basins. The land can thus grow a bountiful array of fruits and vegetables.
Any visitor to Taiwan will know that their most well-known dessert—and one of the most commonly purchased souvenirs—is pineapple cake, a traditional pastry filled with a rich pineapple jam.
Another popular fruit snack is shibing: traditional dried persimmons. Chewy and honey-sweet, they are shaped like disks and blanketed with a white powder, which is actually natural fruit sugar. High-quality dried persimmons have no additives.
Instead of using the modern way of drying persimmons—slowly baking them at low heat, which strips away many of their nutrients—traditional dried persimmons are laid out in the sun to dry for a week to 10 days. The white dusting of sugar on the outside forms naturally as the persimmon dries.
As is the case throughout much of Asia, soy—used to make tofu, soy sauce, and soy milk—is a staple in the Taiwanese diet.
One of the most polarizing Taiwanese dishes is stinky tofu, a fermented form of tofu notorious for its pungent odor, found at street markets across Taiwan. Depending on who you ask, the dish is either beloved or absolutely detested.
Another common soy-based food is dried tofu, or dried bean curd, which is much firmer than normal tofu. It’s made by pressing soy curds into condensed squares, and is a commonly used ingredient in stir-fry dishes.
Daxi District, Taoyuan City, is especially well-known for its dried tofu varieties, so much so that they host an annual Daxi Bean Curd Festival. The dried tofu at Daxi is darker, tougher, and more flavorful than the common products found elsewhere.
Many people may know that Taiwan is the birthplace of bubble tea—the popular tea-based drink filled with tapioca pearls with a chewy “Q” texture, as Taiwanese people like to call it.
But since long before the invention of this sugary drink, Taiwan has been producing some of the finest teas in the world, thanks to its unique geography and climate.
Tea plants are cultivated throughout the island, from flatlands to high mountain ranges. They’re made into a wide variety of high-quality teas, from light, minimally or non-oxidized green; to earthy, semi-oxidized oolong; to darker, fully oxidized or fermented black and pu-erh teas.
High mountain oolong teas, grown at altitudes of 1,000 meters and above, are some of the island’s most beloved.
Wenshan Baozhong tea is another well-known oolong. The tea’s name means “the wrapped kind,” because it was traditionally wrapped with rectangular Chinese writing paper into a square pack. A seal on the pack would indicate the name of the tea and its maker. To try some of this tea, head to Pinglin District in New Taipei City. The tea is harvested in the spring, which is when it can be enjoyed at its freshest.
Taipei Street Food
For food lovers, a visit to Taiwan wouldn’t be complete without a multi-day food tour of Taipei, the island’s food-obsessed capital. The Taiwanese have elevated the idea of a midnight snack to a cultural phenomenon, so much so that food markets are home to some of the best nightlife on the island, brimming with vendors, tantalizing scents, and crowds of locals and tourists unable to decide what to try first.
Two Taipei-style street foods have even landed spots on the 2019 Michelin guide: black pepper buns, fresh, crusty buns with a layer of toasted sesame seeds on the outside and a juicy ground pork filling on the inside; and pork rib soup, a delicious, hearty broth made with more than a dozen nutritious, vitalizing herbs.