Taiwanese Treats

It’s been a busy summer… to say the least. Between basketball and the day to day rush of herding my own 3 kids, we acquired a Taiwanese foreign exchange student who arrived in the US and had nowhere to stay. This was unplanned. BUT like all things in a busy household even the best laid plans fail. So we go with it. And we expect to roll with the punches.

So Leo, our foreign exchange student arrived at our home at the end of August. One week after the start of school. He is easy to have. appreciative of what we do for him, follows the rules etc. Really I cannot complain.

Since his arrival we have experienced so much!  The biggest and best fair in the whole United States… the Iowa State Fair http://www.iowastatefair.org/, the Iowa vs. Iowa State game (unfortunately Iowa State lost) .. and everything from fireworks on the farm to deer calls, playing football, and a bonfire. We will share more on that later….

So Leo arrived and we started our new “routine” and fortunately the greatest issue we have had thus far is his extreme overeating tendencies. We have since discovered that our diet is so flavorful that he just cannot get enough… and he is not full because our diet is missing the tea and rice he is used to filling up on.

We continue to adjust and we continue to see changes little by little. He has learned he can stop, there will be more food for him later. He has learned he likes EVERYTHING we offer so he has to limit himself. But he is very considerate and makes every attempt to follow the rules.

One of the unexpected surprises of having a foreign exchange student was the arrival of a treat box from his mother in Taiwan. She speaks no English, so our opportunity to visit with him about it came from visiting with Leo. His mother was kind enough to send the expensive pastries and desserts that the Taiwanese enjoy in their country for their celebration. I can briefly describe these, although not a big favorite at our house, my children were kind enough to sample them and give feedback. Let me say though- I can see why our “American food” is so delicious to him, as the Taiwanese desserts are very bland in flavor, and not too exciting. πŸ™‚

The first thing we tried was a expensive white cake with a red dot in the middle. This was a flaky layered type snowball shaped cake and tasted like sugar cookie dough unbaked would taste. It was so-so.

We also tried “moon cake” which was a brown squared shaped heavier cake with a date baked in the middle. This cake is consumed in conjunction with the festival in Taiwan. Interesting, but not very good.

Lastly we tried a “pineapple cake” again a square cake similar to a fig newton in consistancy. The newton part was pineapple flavored and very chewy. I guess if I had to have a favorite this would be it?

Even if the desserts were not our favorite, we loved the opportunity to try something from his culture. He also had a package of what appeared to be ramen type noodles that teenagers eat uncooked with seasoning on them. Similar to chips, they carry the bag and eat the noodles as a snack. The bag has a wizard on the front and is a child favorite.

We continue to learn from this experience and apprecitae the opportunity y to teach about this beautiul country we call home …. will keep updates as I can!

~Laura

Boxed treats from Taiwan, moon cake, pineapple cake and desserts

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