From ancient Chinese books, food is highly connected with people. It is not only about feeding, but it is the culture, the education, the socialization, the manner, the esthetics, and the art. It records how different societal levels of people live their lives. The "types" of Chinese food refer to the food systems influenced by specific natural environment, society, and history which shows strong area characteristics. They represent food cooked with certain steps or flavorings, They also stand for the series of food that are from simple to complicated, from lower levels to high levels, from vendors to restaurants, from common to delicate.
Taiwan cuisine does not have specific definition so far. Due to the changes of political power, immigration to Taiwan has helped to shape its cuisine, with people from other countries making various contributions to it. Local people and immigrants live together, and get married. They learn from each other on cooking styles. Therefore, to define Taiwan food as "Minnan food“is too narrow. Taiwan cuisine is influenced by Minnan, Guangdong, Japan, and eight recognized China cooking styles. I would like to use this article to define Taiwan cuisine as" the food happened in Taiwan, eaten by Taiwanese, used in religious festivals, and originated from the customs. There will be lots of aspects in this article. They are as followed: local food influenced by imported culture under the changes of political power; when does the word" Taiwan cuisine" start?; What are the important changes of Taiwan cuisine during its development? ; What are the culture Taiwan cuisine stands for? ;What are the differences of Taiwan cuisine under different political authorities? What are those kinds of food that best represent people and cookers' impressions about Taiwan cuisine. I hope that this information and point of view could help to Taiwan food history.
As the professor 逯耀東 said" Food is always the first aspect to reflect the changes of a society and the culture. It starts with the acceptance and acknowledgement of different flavors, and then comes the mixture and transformation. Finally it ends up of a new flavor." Before the arrival of China immigrants from Minan and Guangdong, Taiwan is known for the abundance of vegetables and animals, as well as seafood. The original cooking styles started to be mixed with ideas brought by Minan and Guangdong immigrants to create new dishes. By the growth of merchandizers, the importance of cookers and feasts were established. It is also the time that the culture of "Roadside Banquets" starts. During the time of Japan colonization, the word of "Taiwan cuisine" becomes popular. With the big population from Japan, Taiwan cuisine start to mix Japan tastes. Food become more delicate and with versalities. Taiwan cuisine is heavily influenced by Japan since then. By the immigration form mainland China, they've also brought many cooking styles such as Zhejiag and Sichuan, It's an another huge impact on Taiwan cuisine. Today, Taiwan cuisine contains the seafood cooking style from Fuken, the sashimi, the Tenfulo from Japan,and many kinds of food China provinces. With the cooking style. and the flavors, you can't define exactly what Taiwan cuisine is. You can say it is a type of food that shows the integrity and influences of what happened during Taiwan's history.