The last entry from Penghu once again focuses on confections and crackers. They just had so much!
First off was my personal favourite, the peanut cream candy. Made with the peanuts that grow here and cream (somehow), these little treats are, well, creamy and peanutty and the tiniest bit sweet. They melt on your tongue and make you desire just one more, just one more. There is also a more brittle version, closer to peanut brittle (but not the same, as they also make peanut brittle). I ate a bag of this on the island and brought another one back to Kaohsiung for me…er, us.
The salty crackers, as they are called, are another local specialty that Penghu is known for. However, they aren’t that salty, in my opinion. These crumbly rectangles were actually a tad spicy. We bought a big bag (as that was the only size available) and brought them back to Kaohsiung with us. As they kept quite well in a sealed bag, I enjoyed them as a between-meal snack quite often until they were gone. I’d buy them again – they were definitely something different in this over-saturated cracker market.
Lastly, we sampled and purchased the cake known all over the island as hei tang gao (black sugar cake). This moist pan-cake is also sold everywhere, with everyone insisting theirs is the best. Sometimes there are variations, like red beans cooked in, but my favourite was the plain style. It reminded me of pan de miel in Paraguay, and that was made with a type of cane sugar. Despite the difference of ingredients, both were soft, cakey, and moist, with a taste that was not too sweet and made you want another piece almost immediately. I don’t have a picture because we saved it in a bag, but it went bad very quick. Lesson learned. I may try to get some from the store by my school. It will definitely be worth it.
The confections on the island were definitely the highlight. Chris and I loved sampling little bits of things with different flavours not normally found in Kaohsiung, or combinations that had flavours we were used to, just different forms. Penghu is definitely worth a stop on the gourmet’s tour of Taiwan.