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The origins of Changhua snacks are in the town of Lugang. There are many kinds of these snacks and they feature rather unique flavors, but focus primarily on the "three treasures of Changhua," night-market snacks, and cakes and pastries.
The "three treasures" are meat balls, stewed pork, and cat-and-mouse noodles, with meat balls being the best known. Meat ball vendors are most numerous in front of the railway station and in the areas of Chang'an Street and Chenling Road; and the most famous of all are the "Ditch-crossing meat balls" sold at the exit of the Minsheng Road underpass and those vended at the entrance to the North Gate.
Lugang is an old town that is known throughout Taiwan. Because of its location near the coast most of its people traditionally depend on the sea for their livelihood, so it is natural that much of the town's special snacks would consist of things like crabs, eels, oysters, clams, shrimp, and the like. Oysters and shrimp are most favored by gourmands. Local sweets include phoenix-eye cake, pork grease cake, ox-tongue cakes, crispy pastries, and peanut candy, among many others. The famous Yuzhenjai Pastry Shop was known throughout Taiwan as early as the Qianlong reign (1736-1796) of the Qing Dynasty.
The vegetable market on Zhongshan Road and the area in front of Tianhou Temple are the gathering places of many of the town's snack vendors. Lugang residents are rustic and hospitable people, but by 9:00 p.m. most of their snack shops are already closed for the night. The busiest time is around 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., when people crowd the front of Tianhou Temple and the vegetable market on Minzu Road. The soft noodles, taro balls, and mushroom and meat soup sold here are the favorites of those in the know.
Besides Lugang, there are also a number of places in Changhua that have large concentrations of snack vendors. These include the Yongle Street and Taiping Street night markets, the vendor area along Chenling Road, and the Zhonghua Road snack area (in the Mt. Bagua Scenic Area). These are all places where you can enjoy the delicious flavors of local snacks.