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Re: Taiwan Experiences

> Subject: Taiwan Experiences
> I was told by a local that vegetarians there consider garlic and onions
> to be vegetarian. 

According to vegetarian sources here in Singapore, they do not eat any
vegie that's "hollow" within.

>Therefore, most of the vegetarian dishes I was served
> were extremely bland, with way too much oil. 

Welcome to Chinese Vegetarian cooking. Which is why I HATE Chinese
vegetarian food in Singapore. They SOAK the stir fried vegies in oil to
keep them "crunchy" and prevent them from turning "yellowish".

> I also had some vegetarian meals containing odd substances that I
> easily identify. There's something scary about anything with a "meaty"
> texture when you don't know the source. 

It's gluten. Basically alot of flour and water and  boiled. But they then
fry or deep fry it, so it's not healthy at all.
That's vegetarian "meat" for you. There's fake BBQ pork, fake prawns, fake
scallops, fake fish..  actually I find the whole thing very funny.. you can
choose between real & fake stuff!!!

> My coworker, who normally avoids meat, decided she might be safer with
> fish, and stopped declaring herself to be vegetarian! She changed her
> airline request back to regular from vegetarian. I wished I had done the
> same when I saw the odd food on the way back!

Hahaaa.. that's what I do ALL the time when I fly within Asia.. ask for a
fish dinner.. NEVER ask for vegetarian.. it might turn out to have twice as
much fat as the regular steak and potatoes meal.

> Well, travel is for learning, isn't it?

Most Chinese adopt vegetarian diets for religious reasons.. and some for
health reasons like cancer. A very small percentage probably do it for
weight reasons, but it's very unlikely, since most Chinese are very small
boned and thin. Which may explain the extensive use of oil in vegetarian
dishes here. It's really scary, the amount of oil they use and the way they
deep fry every kind of vegetable. No joke. 

Karen Lim from Singapore
If I had to get by on nothing but a pretty face, I'd drown myself.
-- Anna Magnani

KAREN LIM   koombana_TheGreat@xxxxxxxxxxx