Nestled in the northern part of Taipei, Taiwan ROC, self proclaimed ‘The Tofu Capital’ is a rural township that was formerly known for it’s agriculture and mining industries. Now, it is very well known for it’s bean curd/tofu and the endless ways to cook them: regular, dried, braised, deep fried, spicy, BBQ, stir fried, with cheese, sweet drink, ice cream, etc. There is so much variety that it has become a must go to for bean curd lovers.
A must try are the stinky tofu. The fermented tofu is very much a Taiwanese delight. They are an acquired taste with the musky odor needing even more than an acquiring taste. Don’t jump back at the thought of compost just try it with a bottle of Taiwanese beer. It is usually a snack served on road side stalls or in night markets or as a side dish in restaurants. It is best eaten fried or spicy braised with a dollop of chili sauce.
Spending a few hours at the Sken Ken Old Street will be more than enough time to take in all the tofu goodness. It is barely 4 meters wide with both side of the street lined with eateries that serve tofu. Some of the eateries are 20 to 30 years old and boast the expertise in transforming an everyday food item into a gourmet dish.
A very open mind is required for the stinky bean curd adventure and better to try this delicacy where it’s the best, ‘The Tofu Capital’. Just in case stinky is not part of your menu there are the other tofu varieties to try. In December 2010, Shenkeng Township will become Shenkeng District and the entire county will be known as Xinbei City or New North City. This old street will be kept as is and worth a visit just to experience the sight and smell.