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Yonghe – the home of soybean milk

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The suburb of Yonghe (永和; yǒnghé) has become synonymous with delicious soybean milk (dòujiāng) and associated breakfast snacks not just in Taiwan but throughout the Chinese-speaking world. In fact so many soybean shops in Taiwan and Asia use the word “Yungho” in their name that even many Chinese don’t know it’s actually a place near Taipei. Soybean milk originated in China in the nineteenth century, becoming popular as a drink in the 1930s and imported to Taiwan when the Nationalists fled the mainland in 1949; Donghai (“East Ocean”) was the original store, established in Yonghe in 1955. It became so successful that today, even in China, thousands of stores call themselves “Taiwan Yungho Soybean Milk” in deference and it’s become one of the country’s most successful examples of what the Taiwanese call “selling back” to China. Donghai was renamed “World Soybean Milk Magnate” in 1968 (世界豆漿大王; shìjiè dòujiāng dàwáng), and can be found a short walk north of Dingxi MRT Station at 284 Yonghe Rd Sec 2.

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