TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese illustrator "Passion Fruit" (百香果) has launched a new book that gives readers a visual overview of popular breakfast eateries across the country.
Titled "Taiwan Breakfast Map" (台灣早餐地圖), the illustrated book comprises a collection of maps highlighting traditional Taiwanese morning dishes from 19 cities. In the New Taipei City map, tasty options such as soup dumplings, oyster vermicelli, Matcha steamed bread, taro sandwiches, deep-fried rice balls, and rice dumplings are featured.
In a phone interview with CNA, "Passion Fruit" said her new book was inspired by her homesickness and craving for Taiwanese breakfast foods while living in Japan. She said her husband's job required them to relocate to Tokyo in 2009.
The former animation artist said she had developed a habit of documenting and drawing Japanese dishes shortly after her move. It was an easy and convenient way to learn more about Japanese culture, she said.
"Passion Fruit" confessed that it was not easy for her to access information about breakfast shops in Taiwan and that she had to fly back to the country to collect material for 13 of the cities. She said that the entire project took approximately three years to complete and that she had tasted countless dishes during this period.
When asked which dishes impressed her the most, "Passion Fruit" said she was very surprised to find that people in Tainan eat "beef soup" for breakfast. She added that many restaurants in the southern Taiwanese city also serve vegetable rice dumplings and miso soup in the morning.
"Passion Fruit" said that "Taiwan Breakfast Map" reflects the rich diversity of Taiwan's traditional cuisine. She said she had gained a deeper understanding of her home country's culture through this creative endeavor.
Breakfast map of New Taipei City. (Linking Publishing Company photo)
"Taiwan Breakfast Map" by Taiwanese illustrator "Passion Fruit." (Linking Publishing Company photo)
Tokyo-based Taiwanese illustrator "Passion Fruit." (Linking Publishing Company photo)