Left:Meat balls with bamboo and pork inside.Right: Each seems to be pinched by three fingers.
From TTNews Reporter Bo-jhang Jiang
Beidou town was developed a long time ago. When Ching Dynasty ruled Taiwan, it was a prosperous city. When the Beitou town was mentioned, it occurs to people right away that the Beidou meat balls have chewy covering and abundant stuffing.
Starting from the area near Chengan Temple, Beidou meat balls has been famous for over 40 years. It is said that there was no embankment along the Jhuoshuei River during the ancient times, so Jhuoshuei River changed its courses and caused the floods after it had rained for several days. Hundreds of years ago, because of a deluge, only 52 of 72 villages left in Beitou town. It was hard to live at that time. To stop starving, most people pounded the sweet potato into powders, and then they eat the powders after adding some sugar. However, this sweet dish made people hungry more easily. The local resident, Fan, Wan-jiyu made the first salty meat ball which had bamboo and pork (foreleg meat) inside. This kind of meat balls soon became popular and famous.
With three indents, each handmade and crystal Beidou meat ball seems to be pinched by three fingers. Some smaller meat balls are similar to Yuan Bao (an odd-shaped gold or silver ingot formerly used as money). Having the bamboo and pork inside and chewy covering outside, the meat ball is so delicious. Also, if going with the tofu soup or pork meatball soup, you will definitely want to eat one more.
發跡於奠安宮媽祖廟口的北斗肉圓在地方上經流傳四十多年，聽說早期在濁水溪沿岸因沒有堤岸，一到連日好雨，濁水溪河道就改道水災連連，百年前的一次大水 災，北斗鎮原本有七十二庄頭剩下五十二庄頭，生活困苦，大部分人以甘薯搗成粉再加些糖來充飢，但吃起比較甜，也比要容易餓，當地居民范萬居製作第一粒鹹口 味肉圓，夾著竹筍與胛心肉就受到歡迎，打響了「北斗肉圓」的名聲。