Oh, how Justin’s post on 7-ELEVENs to help promote the Simpson’s movie brought back memories. Taiwan is a 7-ELEVEN lover’s dream-come-true. They are on every other street corner it seems–with 44,498 of them, it’s no wonder. Taiwan is not that big. One of the 7-ELEVENs was the first place we went shopping right after we arrived in the country to live there. It was after midnight and we had just flown in. The person who picked us up at the airport took us to one in our new neighborhood to shop for groceries so we would have something to for the next few days. In my blurry-eyed jet lagged fatigue, I picked out the differences between the American version and Taiwan’s food offerings. Some were the same; several were different. For example, you can buy peanut butter if you want a fix, but products are much more Asian in scope.
First, there’s the smell of tea eggs cooking in a crock pot. Then there are the beverages and instant noodle variations. Taiwan has more boxed drink flavors than any place I know. Most are variations of flavored teas like durian and melon, with some soymilk brands thrown in. Of course there are Coke products for the western palate. British food items like McVities Digestives are also popular, plus Asian snack foods. Once I lived in Taiwan for awhile, I learned that 7-ELEVENs were the best place to buy wine. If you were heading to a party, this was the perfect stop for a last minute purchase. No super-size bag of chips though. For that, you have to be in the U.S.
The website also has a list of how many 7-ELEVENS are in each country worldwide. Japan has the most–8,478. Guam, with 9, has the least. These are the 2001 statistics. Notice the crockpot at the right edge of the photo? Those are tea eggs. This is the inside of a 7-ELEVEN.