Any doubts I had about being back in Taiwan was erased when I bit into my first black-pepper bun for the first time in my life, sometime last year. (I’ve probably eaten it as a kid, too, but I won’t pretend that that counts at all.) It was love at first sight with this golden-crisp, savory with a hint of spice, juice-splattering, crunchy-on-the-outside chewy-on-the-inside ball of goodness. No wonder my mother used to line up for half an hour to buy them fresh out of the clay oven.

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