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Taiwan's centralized location in Asia gives the hungry tourist a wide variety of different Asian cuisines to sample from, including Thai, Malay, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Filipino, as well as Chinese. Large international metropolises, such as Taipei and Kaohsiung, also offer a fairly good selection of North American and European cuisines to choose from. Given Taiwan's long history with China, however, it isn't surprising that the best and most common foods to be found are Chinese cuisines, including Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangsu-Zhejiang, Beijing, and Cantonese.

Taiwanese cuisine 臺菜 itself is light, simple, easy to prepare, and often liberally spiced with ginger.Japanese and Chinese cultures have profound influences on Taiwanese cuisine, which is dominated by seafood and noted for its large variety of soups. Many Taiwanese restaurants feature large tanks of live shrimps, lobsters, crabs and fish, from which gourmets may choose their favorite. Taiwanese soups feature mostly seafood, including shark's fin, squids and clams. Seasonings are mild and sweet compared with other cuisines.

(source: Taiwan Government Information Office)