Mid-Autumn in Danshui
Such a well-written article by Patrick Cowsill, it must be shared by all:
"Mid-Autumn in the Midst of Danshui"
For those of us who grew up in Danshui in the 50s, some observations:
(1) BBQs were not associated with Mid-Autumn festivals, the culinary link has always been with the moon cakes which commemorated the Chinese popular uprising against their Mongolian rulers in the night of Mid-Autumn, ca 1368. Legend has it that secret messages were hidden in the cakes to alert everyone of the planned revolt.
(2) The original hibachis火鉢 ["fire-pots" - in which charcoals are placed] were used as hand warmers and space heaters in the winter time, and on which, we roasted dried cuttlefish or 年糕 for snacks. [Left: a 大正時代 porcelain hibachi.]
(3) Fish-balls were spherical, not ellipsoidal as they now appear. They were/are the most delicious human creation. The most popular fish-ball soup shop was located at the fish market directly in front of Ma-Zu temple. The novice tend to bite on the piping hot fish-ball thereby burning their mouths. The proper way is to cut the fish balls into halves or quarters with your soup spoon and eat them with the soup. Eyedoc's aunt's family still makes the best fish-balls in Danshui, available at a small workshop across from 龍山寺, in the wet market.
(4) Fort San Domingo was occupied by the Brits who flew an over-sized Union Jack over it; and directly across Chung Cheng Road, at the riverbank, secret construction of mini-submarines [below] by the ROC Navy went on, right under the nose of the British Consulate.
(5) Before the Taipei Metro, there were also tourists although who headed for Danshui Golf Course directly never set foot in our little town. We liked it that way.
Posted by EyeDoc at 下午10:13