In Taiwan, It's Take Me Out To The Ballgame, And For A Bowl Of Stinky Tofu
How garlic chicken feet fueled Manny Ramirez
BuzzFeed recently published an epic long-scroll about the comeback of disgraced major league baseball player Manny Ramirez, who played in Taiwan from March through June for the E-DA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League, Taiwan’s top league.
And while we are interested in how “one of the greatest right-handed hitters of the last half-century” has overcome multiple failed drug tests to resurrect his career in Asia (he’s currently back in the United States playing with a minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers), we were most interested in the colorful description of Taiwanese stadium food from writer Sam Graham-Felsen. The scene is Taipei’s Xinzhuang Field, a 30-minute drive from Taipei’s downtown area.
The first thing you notice walking into Taiwanese baseball stadiums is the smell. It’s assaultive. And it’s in the air — like, you can actually see spattered oil globules suspended in the sopping, 95-degree humidity. You are being soaked in stinky tofu.
At Xinzhuang Field in Taipei, the nation’s capital, you’ll also find garlic-infused chicken feet, “fresh squid delicious,” “sausage and rice tube,” corn-and-broccoli-stuffed octopus balls, and something called “chicken leg roll.” But the only thing you’ll smell is stinky tofu. The stench of this popular Taiwanese snack — heavily, heavily fermented tofu, often topped with pickled cabbage — is nauseating. Stinky tofu is one of the few things that even Andrew Zimmern — the Travel Channel guy who roams the world eating “bizarre” foods — can’t handle.
And speaking of baseball food, the All Star Game (being held in NYC tomorrow night...boooyah) has some pretty nice items on the menu. See: What To Eat And Drink At The 2013 MLB All-Star Game At Citi Field