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Sunday, January 11, 2009
taiwanese/dessert: i strongly recommend PEANUT WRAP WITH ICE CREAM
PEANUT BRITTLE SHAVINGS WRAP WITH ICE CREAM
near Longshan Temple
Guangzhou Street and Xichang Street
nearest MRT: Longshan Temple
Kid friendliness: might be messier than a cone, but there is a plastic bag to hold it all in
Visit reviewed: 11/27/2008
Peanut brittle shavings + ice cream + cilantro + spring roll wrapper = deliciousness
This is one of the weirdest things I've found as a Taiwanese street eat- maybe because I grew up familiar with smells, sights and tastes of oyster omelettes, stinky tofu, shaved ice or oyster vermicelli with pig intestines, pig's blood on a stick so that those things are all part of my encyclopedia of Taiwanese food and therefore no longer weird to me.
But who would have ever thought to come up with shaving a huge block of peanut brittle, sticking it inside a thin crepe-like wrap with pineapple, taro and peanut ice cream, and then sprinkling it with cilantro? But guess what, it actually works and after eating it I kept thinking about it for days.
I had heard about it before after someone asked me about it through the blog, but it was my first time seeing it in person. If you run across it in other places (I've heard Danshui), let us know where. In Chinese, it's called "Hua shen bing" as a sweet counterpart to the "run bing" which you might have seen.
First, I don't know if this is the permanent spot for the vendor, but I found it in front of this restaurant called "Xi Jiou Ah Jiou Lu Riou Fan" or roughly translated "Four Corner Mr. Nine Braised Meat Rice" on Guangzhou Street.
One wrap is only NT$35 or you could get it without the ice cream for NT$25, but I definitely recommend it with the ice cream.
They shave this huge block of peanut brittle with a wooden thing and then put the shavings on top of the wrap.
They offer pineapple, taro and peanut and you get three scoops and get to choose. We got one of each, but next time, I would just get pineapple with more cilantro. The tartness went well with the sweetness and flakiness of the carmelized peanuts and fragrant cilantro. The peanut and taro flavors were not as strong. You can get it without the cilantro too, but it wouldn't be the same- I guess the most similar flavors I could liken it to is when you have cilantro in mango or pineapple salsa. Same thing, right?
You get it all wrapped up and it looks like a run bing or spring roll. Eat it fast though the ice cream didn't really melt as fast as I thought it might.
Mmmm. You can spy the tiny bit of cilantro on the side as we asked for less cilantro in case we didn't like it all together. The peanut brittle shavings are definitely much better than just ground peanuts with sugar which is found in quite a few Taiwanese street eats like run bing and gua bao because it has a crystal like texture that is a great contrast to the softness of the ice cream. I guess you could call it a dessert crepe or burrito or spring roll.
Look for part 2 of this night in a separate blog- more of street eats near Longshan Temple!
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