In Barry Foy's previous posting ("'Brutta ma Buona' in Taiwan, Part 1: Fan Tuan") he conjured up a category of Taiwanese specialties that might (by Western standards, at least) fit the Italian description brutta ma buona—"ugly but good." Today he checks out a few more: xiaren rou yuan, niu za tang (pictured), and youyu geng.
'brutta ma buona' on Serious Eats
Devotees of Italian cuisine will recognize the phrase brutta ma buona—"ugly but good." It applies to foods that are tasty and satisfying, even if they're unlikely to win any beauty contests. Taiwan, one of the world's premier patches of culinary real estate, has its own share of ugly-but-goods. Steer clear of the various edible lumps, bumps, and viscous puddles on offer, however, and you risk missing out on much of the good stuff.