原民美食,狂野台味

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2012 / 2月

文‧朱立群 圖‧林格立


台灣菜,融大陸八大菜系之精華於一爐,除了各系大菜與庶民小吃之外,還有「一味」,也是美食家推薦觀光客必嚐的台灣美食──來台灣,不吃竹筒飯,等於沒到過阿里山!

一言以蔽之,台味之所以「台」,就是因為世界上其他任何地方,吃不到台灣原住民族的原汁原味。

但,到底什麼是原住民的原汁原味?


台灣原住民族現有14族,共約五十多萬人,以阿美族人數最多,約占4成;排灣族次之,約2成;泰雅族占一成五,其餘各族占比都不滿1成。

所謂靠山吃山、靠海吃海,原住民的傳統食材幾乎完全取自大地。但受限於部落所在的地理位置,有些族群發展出獨特的飲食風貌,例如四周環海的蘭嶼達悟族以捕獵飛魚為生,故被稱為「飛魚的民族」。

又如住在低海拔山區及花東海濱的阿美族,最早接受漢化,捕獵技術也遜於他族,但卻是公認的「百草之族」,對山林野菜的認識與利用最為透徹,所以曾經有人打趣揶揄說:阿美族「可以把整座山除了泥土、石頭以外的東西全部吃光。」

然而,飲食對原住民族的意義,絕非只是滿足填飽肚子的生理需求;它更是一種社會儀式的實踐,背後有深層的文化意涵:什麼時候、什麼人該吃或不該吃什麼食物,都必須嚴守部落文化的規範。譬如百步蛇是排灣族敬畏的圖騰獸,對族人而言,吃蛇肉是一大禁忌。

又譬如,阿美族的傳統家務分工方式與男子年齡階級組織的制度,也體現在族人的飲食文化上,就像歌謠《沾醬歌》所描述,阿美族的青年會捕魚、放陷阱,阿美族的姑娘會撿貝類、採藤心,餐點開動、食物沾醬後,老人家吃得好開心。

最早的台味

原住民族是台灣最早的住民,漢文文獻關於其飲食文化的記載,可見於三國時期沈瑩的《臨海水土志》,記述當時的台灣「既生五穀,又多魚肉」,島上的住民把捕獵來的魚肉、獸肉存放在大瓦甕裡,鹽滷數月,即成美味的「上餚」;要吃的時候,「鑿木做器如豬槽狀」,然後把食物攤置其上,吃飯時,原住民兩兩相對蹲坐,「十十五五共食之。」

此外,人們「用粟造酒,木槽儲之,用大竹筒長七寸飲之。」飲宴之餘,還會唱歌助興。

對照原住民現今的飲食文化,雖然各族之間的發展略有差異,但大抵承襲了1,800年前祖先族人的飲食方式。

譬如,阿美族人的「喜烙」(silaw),以鹽醃製生魚、生肉;泰雅族醃肉「的麼面」(tmmyan)的醃料則添加了糯米,味道也較酸。

又如,即使原住民如今幾乎都跟漢人一樣以稻米為主食,但除了世居蘭嶼的達悟族之外,其他各族都有以黍釀酒的傳統,小米酒因而也成為人們最熟知的原住民部落名產。

根據《臨海水土志》的描寫,原住民族很早就以竹筒當作盛酒的容器。布農族文史工作者田哲益在《台灣原住民的社會與文化》書裡指出,原住民漢化以前,使用的餐具都很簡單,盛湯用竹筒、盛飯肉則用藤、竹編成的籩具。

竹子,因而是原住民「取之於自然」的傳統煮具。根據田哲益的說法,泰雅族人傳統的「竹煮」,指的就是如今製作竹筒飯的方法:砍下盛產的桂竹、鋸成節狀,將浸泡8小時以上的糯米填入,傳統煮法不添加其他配料,以月桃葉封口後,蒸熟或煮熟即成散發天然葉香的米飯。

原住民的天然煮具還包括石頭與樹葉,例如阿美族傳統的「石煮法」,將檳榔葉柄拗折、固定成方形船狀容器裝盛野菜、魚蝦等食材,注入清水後,丟入燒紅的石頭將水煮沸,再以少許的鹽調味,即是阿美族傳統的石頭火鍋。

風味≠原味

近年來,觀光產業結合文化旅遊的風氣大盛,觀光客「獵奇」之餘,也讓原住民美食成為一門好生意,就連國內平地漢人也趨之若鶩,烤山豬肉、小米酒、竹筒飯、炒野菜等「原住民風味餐」越來越受歡迎。

行政院原住民族委員會調查指出,2010年年底,每100人原住民,有8.5人從事住宿及餐飲業,比例是4年來的最高,店家大多開在南部及東岸。

然而,就像都市裡有些打著原住民餐廳名號的店家兼賣排骨飯、牛肉麵等「非」傳統原民料理,觀光客在部落風景區吃到的,也很難就一定是「原汁原味」。

東華大學族群關係與文化學系副教授葉秀燕指出,「原味漢化」可視為原住民餐廳的權宜變通,為了配合漢人飲食口味而做的調整。

一位店家開在花蓮的阿美族風味餐廳老闆娘曾向葉秀燕抱怨,觀光客有眼不識原味,糟蹋了原住民美食。

「平地人來這,還是要吃紅燒魚、三杯雞,這都是漢人的菜;有人點檳榔心,但卻吃不慣,整盤菜都沒有吃,很可惜。他們不知道,這才是阿美族真正的料理,」這位阿美族老闆娘說。

另一方面,觀光客也無法分辨入口的是哪一族的菜。一位太魯閣族業者羅列「族群融合」的菜單,自承店裡的風味餐,是「原住民的食材,漢人的煮法」:「我們太魯閣族的香蕉糯米飯QQ黏黏,是店裡必備的風味餐;現在阿美族的野菜很流行,我們也有;客人點蝸牛,我就做三杯。」

葉秀燕訪談花蓮縣內12家原住民餐廳後發現,除了自家族群招牌菜(例如阿美族的石頭火鍋、噶瑪蘭族的海鮮魚產、太魯閣族的香蕉糯米飯)之外,店家也會販賣其他原住民族的名菜,例如,在阿美族風味餐廳裡可以吃到布農族的石板烤肉,「特色」與「混搭」並存。

不過,阿美族野菜專家吳雪月提醒,原住民傳統料理不來爆香、提味這一套,調味也很簡單,頂多就是灑點鹽巴,「最怕觀光客把台式『三杯』料理當成原住民的原汁原味。」

吳雪月目前是原舞者文化藝術基金會執行長,15年前在現任原民會主委孫大川的引薦下,一頭栽進原住民野菜的世界,出入山林與原住民黃昏市場,循「味」調查、整理阿美族人餐桌上常見、但不一定叫得出名字的一百多種野菜檔案,出版《台灣新野菜主義》圖鑑,是吃遍台灣野味的第一號人物。靠山又靠海的阿美族,其野菜世界,則被公認是原住民飲食文化的代表。

吳雪月說,原住民吃「大地的食物」,尤其是野菜,口味難免偏苦,但降低苦味的方式,不應是拿味道更重的調味料予以壓制,而是應該減少烹調過程中掀開鍋蓋的次數。

她說,阿美族是「喝湯的民族」,不論菜、肉,最棒的吃法都是拿來煮湯,而且會把三、四種不同的野菜混和煮,調味只需加點鹽巴,如此最能吃出「大地的味道」。

「沒嚐過原住民野菜的,一定要試試『龍葵』,這個阿美語稱作tatokem、一年四季都有的茄科野菜,搭牛肉最速配;蝸牛肉搭配『木鱉子葉』煮湯,也是一絕,」她說。

吳雪月推薦花蓮市「牛巴達」餐廳的牛雜湯配龍葵,風味最「狂野」;光復鄉「紅瓦屋」的石頭火鍋湯頭甘甜,很少調味,欲嚐原味者,必須拋棄「加沙茶醬」的漢人認知;秀林鄉的「達基力部落屋」是家太魯閣族餐廳,店裡的創意野菜不失原味。

在熱鬧的台北市區,也有吃到原民風味料理的機會。美食作家胡天蘭,日前撰文推薦位在廣州街夜市旁娜魯灣商場的「為得味廚坊」,店家的炒蝸牛肉,在大都市裡很難吃到。卑南族老闆娘透露,部落老家用野菜刺蔥(食茱萸)拌炒,在台北則入境隨俗改用九層塔。她說,如能預先指明,也很歡迎客人嚐嚐原住民的吃法。

用味蕾交流

台灣各族群的飲食文化經過長時間的交流、融合,早已出現族群食材混搭的情況。明末文人陳第在〈東番記〉裡提到台灣原住民種有蔥、薑、蕃薯、蹲鴟(芋頭);今日看來,這些食物早為其他族群所食,不再是原住民特有的菜色。其他如山蘇、秋葵、朝天椒等野菜,也已走入一般家庭的廚房。

有些野菜在原住民朋友的推廣下,也慢慢跳上了平地人的味蕾。魯凱族達魯瑪克部落長老林得次說,族人拿魯凱語稱作「哥哥樂」(kekerere)的野菜「糯米團」包水餃,很受觀光客歡迎。

此外,透過網路與電話接單,林得次住在山上部落的兒女們,得以將魯凱族傳統美食「阿拜」(a-bai),販售至全國各地,一天可賣七、八百個,訂單最遠來自金門。

阿拜的作法是,先以「假酸漿」的葉子包裹磨碎的小米與豬肉餡,其外再包月桃葉,看起來就像是包起來的「粿」,蒸熟後,拆開月桃葉即可食用。野菜達人吳雪月說,原住民本來沒有粽子,但因應出外捕獵、採集野菜或工作的飲食需要,各族都發展出類似的食物,像排灣族有「吉納甫」,卑南族、魯凱族有「阿拜」,阿美族有「阿里鳳鳳」,泰雅族和鄒族也有竹筒飯,都和漢人的粽子有異曲同工之妙。

日本旅遊作家片倉真理,在新作《在台灣,遇見一百分的感動》裡,特別感念台東卑南族長輩友人待她如家人,每次道別,都會塞給她滿袋的食物,內有釋迦、木瓜、野菜,還有擔心她坐火車餓著,特別為她準備的阿拜。

葉秀燕長期觀察原住民與來訪遊客的互動,她表示,對於有心想要認識原住民文化與每道食物背後故事的客人,不論他們來自哪裡,族人絕不吝於帶他們品嚐真正道地、甚至只有「我族之輩」才能吃到的食物。她本人就曾在與泰雅族獵人出獵時,被招待生吞飛鼠睪丸,象徵與族人歃血為盟。

從飲食文明的角度觀之,弱勢且資本主義化程度較低的族群,其飲食往往具有比較豐富的故事性與儀式性,這也是原住民風味餐近年來成為觀光客好奇、尋奇對象的原因。往正面看,透過食物作為媒介,除了促進族群的交流與相互理解外,當弱勢的原住民握有自我詮釋的權力時,他們會更有自信,而這樣的「故事經濟」,也才會讓花錢消費一事,有了文化的意義。

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EN

Indigenous Food: The Authentic Flavors of Taiwan

Sam Ju /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Geoff Hegarty and Sophia Chen

Taiwanese food is the result of a fusion of the eight major cuisines of mainland China. In addition to the major Chinese dishes and night-market foods, there is another dish strongly recommended by gourmets for visitors interested in Taiwanese cuisine. If they haven’t experienced zhutong fan (竹筒飯/rice in bamboo tube), it means they haven’t visited Alishan!

So what makes Taiwanese cuisine unique? Well, nowhere else in the world can you enjoy the flavors of authentic Taiwanese indigenous food.

But what does “the real thing” taste like?


Taiwan currently has 14 indigenous tribes with a total population of more than 500,000; the Amis are the largest group accounting for 40%, followed by the Paiwan at 20%, the Atayal at 15%, and other groups each comprising less than 10%.

It’s said that diet is often the outcome of locality, and in fact the traditional foods of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples come almost entirely from their native regions. As a result, some groups have developed quite unique styles. The Tao (Yami) on Orchid Island (Lanyu), for example, rely heavily on flying fish caught from the sea as the basis of their diet; in fact, they’re sometimes called the “flying-fish tribe.”

The Amis, whose homelands are located around the lower mountain areas and the coast of Hualian and Taitung, are recognized as knowing a vast number of edible plants. Because of their location, they were mainly gatherers rather than hunters, and were the earliest indigenous people to come into contact with the Han Chinese. The tribe is also knowledgeable and skilled in the use of flora as food—they are sometimes teased as being able to “eat everything on the mountain apart from soil and rocks.”

However, food for indigenes is not only a means to meet their physical needs, but also has a deep cultural meaning, and is subject to many social rituals. They abide strictly by the rites of tribal cultures—when to eat, who should eat or what type of food shouldn’t be eaten. For example, the hundred-pacer snake is revered by the Paiwan as a totemic animal, so snake meat is a big taboo.

Original flavors

Taiwan’s earliest residents were its indigenous tribes. Their food culture was recorded in a Han-language document which can be found in Lin Hai Shui Tu Zhi (A Study of the Seashore Environment), written by Shen Ying in the Three Kingdoms period (220–280 CE). The document describes the islanders as enjoying a rich variety of crops, fish and meat. They preserved fish and meat by pickling with salt in large pots for several months, creating a delicious dish. In addition, “People used millet for making alcohol which was stored in wooden tanks. Seven-inch-long bamboo tubes were used for cups for drinking the brew.” While eating and drinking, they sang songs for entertainment.

While each tribe has developed in slightly different directions, today’s indigenous food culture has been mostly inherited from their ancestors of 1800 years ago.

For example, they all pickle their meats, though in different ways. Compared with the Amis’ silaw (salted raw fish or meat), the Atayal tribe’s pickled meat dish tmmyan is much more sour, as glutinous rice is added to the marinade.

Although today the staple food of indigenous peoples is rice—like the Han Chinese—most tribes (except for the Tao on Orchid Island) traditionally make alcohol from millet rather than rice or other grains, and millet liquor is the best known local indigenous product.

As mentioned, according to Lin Hai Shui Tu Zhi, Taiwanese indigenes used bamboo tubes as vessels for drinking alcohol. Tian ­Zheyi, a cultural scholar of the Bu­nun tribe, points out in his book entitled The Society and Culture of Taiwan’s Aborigines that prior to sinicization, indigenous eating utensils were very simple: for instance, bamboo tubes were used for soup, and woven rattan or bamboo bowls for rice and meat.

Bamboo was the natural material for cooking utensils. According to Tian, the Atayal’s traditional cooking method zhu zhu (cooking with bamboo) refers to their method of cooking rice stuffed into a bamboo tube. The bamboo is cut into several node lengths and filled with glutinous rice which has been soaked in water for more than eight hours. The tubes (which in the traditional method have no other ingredients added) are then sealed with shell ginger leaves. After being steamed or boiled, the rice is fragrant with the scent of the natural leaves.

Stones and tree leaves were also used as cooking utensils. For example, another of the Amis’ traditional cooking methods, shi zhu, involves cooking with stones. A punt-shaped container made from an areca palm leaf sheath is filled with vegetables and seafood, water is added, and red-hot pebbles are put into the container to boil the water, with a small amount of salt added during cooking. This is the Amis’ traditional shi­tou huo­guo (石頭火鍋/stone hot pot).

The real thing?

In recent years, cultural tourism has become popular in Taiwan, as well as globally. In addition to experiencing the exotic aspects of indigenous culture, the cuisine has also become an important attraction for tourists, especially for Han Chinese. Indigenous foods such as roasted boar meat, millet liquor, bamboo-tube rice, and fried wild vegetables have become increasingly popular.

Yet some restaurants in urban areas that advertise indigenous dishes also sell things like spareribs with rice and beef noodles, which clearly are not traditional indigenous dishes. So it’s far from clear whether many tourists actually experience the real thing at restaurants in indigenous areas.

Joyce Yeh, associate professor in the Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures, National Dong Hwa University, believes that sinicized indigenous foods can be regarded as convenient alternatives to cater for Han Chinese taste.

The owner of an Amis-style restaurant in Hua­lien County once complained to Yeh that many tourists are unable to appreciate the authentic, but very different, flavors of indigenous dishes, and thus the food is often wasted.

“Han Chinese who come to our restaurant still want to order dishes that they know such as braised fish and three-cups chicken. A group of customers ordered areca palm hearts, but they didn’t like it and left the entire dish untouched. It’s a pity to waste food. They didn’t appreciate the fact that it was the real thing.”

Also, tourists are unable to distinguish dishes from different tribes.

A Truku restaurant offers an “ethnic integration” menu, advertising its house dishes using indigenous food ingredients cooked according to Han Chinese methods: “The Truku’s banana sticky rice is our house dish. We also have the popular Amis dish of wild vegetables. But if customers order snail meat, I will cook it in the style of three-cups chicken.”

Wu Xueyue, an expert in the wild vegetables favored by the Amis, says that in traditional indigenous dishes, garlic or scallion are not fried first to obtain strong flavor. In contrast, they prefer plain flavors and simply sprinkle a little salt over the food. “I’m afraid that many tourists might mistakenly regard the sauces in three-cups chicken as an authentic indigenous taste.”

Most indigenous foods come from the earth, especially the sometimes bitter-tasting wild vegetables. To reduce the bitterness, strong sauces are avoided, and the wok cover opened only sparingly during the cooking process.

The Amis love soup; they believe that the way to best use good ingredients, whether vegetables or meat, is to put them in a soup. They will cook three or four different varieties of wild vegetables together adding only a little salt. This is the best way to experience the flavors of the earth.

“People who have never tasted wild vegetables must try black nightshade (So­lanum nig­rum), known as ta­to­kem in the Amis language. The best way to cook it is with beef. Another rather unusual soup dish is snail meat cooked with co­chin­china mo­mor­dica seeds,” says Wu.

Wu recommends some special indigenous dishes: beef offal soup with ta­to­kem, available at Niu­bada restaurant in Hua­lien City, has the “wildest” flavor. The stone hot pot at Hong­wawu restaurant in Guangfu­ Township has a naturally sweet taste without relying too much on sauce. People who want to taste the real thing need to drop the Han Chinese habit of using barbecue sauce. Da­geeli Tribe Restaurant, a ­Truku eatery in Xiu­lin Township, manages to keep the authentic flavor of its wild vegetable dishes.

It’s also possible to enjoy indigenous cuisine in Tai­pei City. Food critic Ann Hu recommends Wei­de­wei Kitchen, located in the Na­ru­wan Indigenous Market near the night market on Guang­zhou Street—its fried snail meat is quite unusual and not often seen in the city. The restaurant’s owner, who belongs to the Pu­yuma tribe, says that ali­anthus prickly-ash is often fried with snail meat in her hometown, but she has replaced it with basil for her Tai­pei customers. If anyone wants to taste the real indigenous-style dish, she will be happy to oblige if they tell her when they order.

Blending flavors

Because the food culture of Taiwan’s ethnic groups has undergone a long period of exchange and integration, blending ingredients and flavors with other traditions has become common. Chen Di, a late Ming Dynasty scholar, in his treatise Dong Fan Ji (Records of Eastern Barbarians), mentioned that Taiwan’s indigenes planted green onions, ginger, yams, and taro. However, these vegetables are common in other food traditions, so today they are no longer regarded as unique to indigenous culture. Other wild vegetables such as bird’s-nest fern, okra, and facing-heaven peppers are also quite common across cultures.

The use of wild vegetables in cooking has received promotion recently, and as a result some previously uncommon vegetables have gradually conquered the taste buds of Han Chinese. Lin Deci, an elder of the Ru­kai tribal village of Ta­ro­mak, says that the Ru­kai use a wild vegetable, called ke­ke­rere in their language, as the main ingredient for dumplings that are very popular with tourists.

Lin’s children, living on the mountain, sell the Ru­kai’s traditional food a-bai across the country through Internet and telephone orders, with sales of 700–800 per day. The farthest orders have come from Kinmen.

To make a-bai, ground millet and minced pork are wrapped in the leaves of Tri­cho­desma ca­ly­co­sum, and then in shell ginger leaves. After steaming, the shell ginger leaves are removed and it’s ready to eat. It looks like a type of rice cake. Wu Xue­yue says that indigenous people didn’t have ­zongzi (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves) in the early days, but because of the need for a simple snack food when they went hunting or gathering vegetables, every tribe has developed a similar food, such as the Pai­wan’s ji­nafu, a-bai from the Pu­yuma and the Ru­kai, the Amis’ ali­feng­feng, and bamboo-tube rice from the Atayal and Tsou. But they’re all similar to the Han Chinese zongzi.

Japanese travel writer Mari Ka­ta­kura, in her new book Ultimate Impressions of Taiwan, expresses her particular appreciation to the Pu­yuma people of Tai­tung County who treated her like one of their own. At every farewell, they filled her bag with food like sugar-apples, papayas, and wild vegetables. They even worried that she might feel hungry on the train, and prepared a-bai for her to eat as she traveled.

Joyce Yeh, who has observed the interaction between indigenous people and their visitors over the long term, says that for outsiders who sincerely want to learn about indigenous culture and the stories behind each dish, no matter where they come from, the indigenous people of Taiwan are always generous in sharing the authentic flavors of their food, even sharing the actual food made and reserved for the use of their tribe. In her hunting experiences with the Ata­yal, she was invited to eat raw flying squirrel testicles, symbolizing a sort of blood-brotherhood with the tribe.

From an evolutionary perspective, disadvantaged and less capitalized ethnic groups have often kept alive the rich traditions, stories and rituals connected with their food, all of which helps to explain why in recent years indigenous dishes have become an attraction for curious tourists. Thinking optimistically, food as a medium can not only provide opportunities for cultural exchange and mutual understanding between different ethnic groups, but can also help to boost their confidence when they need the power to stand up to the world. Thus a simple item like food may bear enormous cultural significance.

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