Taiwanese Ice Cream Burrito - Gastro Obscura
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Sweets

Taiwanese Ice Cream Burrito

The deceptive, sweet-and-savory snack of Taipei's night markets.

Tucked deep into Taipei’s night markets, vendors disguise scoops of ice cream as a savory snack. Customarily, Taiwanese cooks fill their flour crepes with pork, cabbage, and ground peanuts to make a traditional roll called run bing (a relative of the Chinese breakfast jiānbǐng). But street hawkers use this same wrap to swathe a sweet-and-savory treat.

To assemble, the vendor lays out a flour crepe and shaves fine pieces of peanut brittle over it. On top, he adds three scoops of ice cream, often in flavors like pineapple, taro, or peanut. After a sprinkle of cilantro (the soapy-to-some herb can be omitted, on request), he folds the edges in and rolls up the contents into a burrito-esque creation. The combination of flavors and textures achieves a balance of creamy, crunchy, chewy, sweet, herbal, tart, and nutty.

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