Immigrating from Taiwan to go to college, my grandmother worried about my mother's health and ability to cook since my mother has never cooked before in her life. So, my grandmother gave my mother a huge bottle of aromatic tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is very healthy with multiple benefits not just including cooking, but it is also very rare to get natural tea tree oil. The bottle my mother has is one of the last "real", natural tea tree oil bottles in Taiwan - all of them are now manufactured by companies. The tea tree oil was to help my mother survive in college since she can make a very simple dish - cook vermicelli noodles and pour the oil over them - and also to make sure she is healthy and eating right.
My mother still has the bottle of tea tree oil today and whenever we feel sick, she would cook those noodles for us because of its "medicinal benefits". My sister loves this dish because since she has a lot of allergic reactions to certain foods and fruits, the tea tree oil helps counteract her allergies. Also, the oil itself is just so flavorful - nutty, light, and aromatic.
– Erica Fu