Hey there Cookie Crumbles, sorry I’ve been really lazy about posting recently. The good news is that I’ve been spending my time eating and cooking, so I have lots of foodie fairy tales to share with you.

Last week I had the good luck to attend the launch party for the brand spankin’ new Michelin Green Guide Taiwan. Hosted by the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Midtown East, the event celebrated both Taiwanese culture and Michelin’s standard of excellence. Let me begin by admitting that I was raised on Michelin travel guides, am an unusually rabid fan, and was very impressed with the Michelin representatives’ ability to handle my unbridled enthusiasm for their product. I went on to guzzle several flutes’ worth of Veuve and stuff my face with five different kinds of dumplings, pictured below. It was a great night.

Though Green Guides focus on the cultural, historical, and tourist attractions (rather than the restaurant and hotel focus of their sister Red Guides), there is a section in every Green Guide about the cuisine of the region in question. So I got extra titillated when I read “The people of Taiwan have a fascination with food. People today will greet each other by saying Chi bao le mei or ‘Have you eaten?’ as often as they will say Ni hao or ‘How are you?'” These sound like my kind of people.

Taiwanese cuisine, according to Michelin, represents culinary traditions from all across China, as well as Korea, Japan, and the West. Here are my favorite bits about Taiwanese food that I gleaned from the guide:

Sausage Bun Sausage Let’s be honest: Any dish that uses the word “sausage” twice must be pretty tasty. Literally translated as “big sausage wraps small sausage,” this street-food favorite is a sticky-rice sausage sliced open length-wise with a grilled pork sausage, also sliced open length-wise, placed inside. This can be dressed in a number of different ways, but the most common toppings are garlic, chilies, and fresh basil. Forget the disgusting and dilettante-ish Double Down from KFC. Taiwan has known for ages that the fastest way to our gluttonous hearts is to replace carbs with meat. Yumm-o!!

Hakka Food This is the rustic home-style cooking of Taiwan and it excites the very nerdiest foodie living deep within my soul. From the cucina povera of Italy and la Cuisine de Misère of France to the Hakka food of Taiwan, every culture in the history of the world has come up with a particular cuisine and style of cooking that is more economical, more humble, and, in many cases, more satisfying than formal cooking traditions.. I love exploring these cuisines because they remind me that even in the hardest of times, people do not forget the power of a thoughtful meal. To taste this particular breed of comfort food created by relocated Han Chinese centuries ago, head southwest of Taipei to the county of Hsinchu. Here will you find the best examples of the salty and sour stews and creative uses of pork and preserved vegetables that are the hallmarks of Hakka food.

Night Markets Taiwan is known for its night markets and many tourists view them as one of the main attractions of the island. Stalls sell everything from light snacks to full meals, desserts, fruits, vegetables, and various proteins. Street food excites me personally because of its varnish of authenticity and New York is already ripe with food trucks, so I would love to go shovel all kinds of bizarre street foods into my mouth in Taiwan. The Green Guide also points out that night markets serve as social epicenters, particularly for Taiwan’s younger population.

Some things about Taiwanese cuisine are less exciting to my palate (such as the “signature dish” oyster omelet and the infamous stinky tofu), but after reading the Green Guide my mouth is watering and my imagination is running wild. For the past week I’ve spent much of my free time obsessively researching flights from JFK to Taipei International. So on April 16 pop out there and pick up a copy of the guide; if you weren’t planning on visiting Taiwan, I promise that you’ll want to after flipping through this book.