美食人‧情‧味 The Raw and the Cooked – A Culinary Journey Through Taiwan

A few months ago, I inquired about the availability of the German/Taiwan produced documentary The Raw and the Cooked – A Culinary Journey Through Taiwan in Taiwan, but ended empty-handed. Yesterday, I went back on the hunt,  and tada, look what I found to share with you :) .

The movie was uploaded on the Public Television Service channel, so I can only assume that it’s 100% legal, haha. Unfortunately, the Taiwanese version has been edited down to 50 minutes (to satisfy an hour slot of TV program I imagine) in comparison to the original version which lasts 83 minutes. And since it’s the Taiwanese version, dialogues in Chinese are not translated, which means more listening and reading practice for you ;) .

The documentary was released in 2012, so if you are already very familiar with Taiwan, the movie may not hold too much novelty as you’ll likely already have heard of the places featured, and now made popular thanks to TV shows and the written press. But you’ll maybe have a sting of nostalgia with the few glimpses (at 1:00 and 3:55 <= cool aerial view) of the edible community garden that used to exist near Taipei 101. I actually never realized that the garden almost took up almost the entire block, and to think it’s now covered in concrete :'( .

At any rate, familiar or not with Taiwan, if you like this little piece of land, its food and scenery, and have 50 minutes to kill, then it should be a pleasant watch. Enjoy! :)

Foncha 楓茶記 (khh) – Keep Calm and Drink Some Hong-Kong Style Milk Tea

Hong-Kong style afternoon tea.
Hong-Kong style afternoon tea, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Actually, calm isn’t really the state I am in whenever I head to Foncha, no, I am rather EXCITED! Yes, that excited. :D

When did I first discover Hong-Kong style milk tea? I don’t remember, but I know that in the land of milk teas, Hong-Kong style milk tea reigns supreme for me, closely followed by Indian masala chai, trailed by a tie between Taiwanese bubble tea and Thai iced tea, and Tibetan butter tea to close off my ranking. Tibetan butter technically doesn’t have any milk but the butter gives it the appearance and a bit of the taste of milk tea, it is an acquired taste, and I am still working on acquiring it. Am I missing out on another variation of delicious milk tea out there? Oops, I digress!

See, whenever I’d follow my Hong-Kong pals at a Cantonese restaurant, I’d always let them order dishes, as long as I had my cup of Hong-Kong style milk tea, I was a happy cat; although I was always disappointed that it never seemed to last long enough in comparison to those never-ending cup of Taiwanese bubble tea. Continue reading

[FYI] Taiwanese people vs Ting Hsin Intl Group

So, another food scandal has again hit Taiwan. Again, it’s about tainted oil, and again, it involves subsidiaries operated by Ting Hsin 頂新. It’s the third time in less than a year, and as the press briefly mentions it in the latest articles, Ting Hsin was also behind the case of the poisonous PCB-tainted rice bran oil in 1979. Back then, they retreated to China, launched a few food ventures there before coming back to Taiwan in 2002.

With so many frequent food scandals, I sometimes feel like people, myself included, become simply oblivious to it and carry on as usual, but this time, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, pushing some organizations and businesses to call for a boycott of products from all Ting Hsin’s 頂新 subsidiaries.

A facebook event (now closed), currently counting 141 thousands participants at the time of this writing, has been was set up and united 162.1K people in support of the boycott and call for a complete withdrawal of all Ting Hsin operation in Taiwan. If you wish to continue partaking in the boycott, check for the list of Ting Hsin’s subsidiaries here and here.

Eat safe and Happy Monday to you all! :)

This article is sponsored by the Union of Concerned Taiwanese Consumers. ;)

The Best of Culture & Creativity, Made in Taiwan

This week, the Taiwanese lifestyle, fashion and art magazine La Vie published a list of the 100 most creative brands, people or public spaces in Taiwan. The ranking is based on an online vote, which gathered a mere total of 12 013 votes. I’m not sure how representative that is, but for anyone interested in discovering what Taiwan has to offer in terms of culture and creativity, this is certainly a great place to start.

In the category for Most Creative Public Space, Kaohsiung’s Pier-2 Art Center ranks first, yay to that :) , and well deserved. For Most Creative Product/Merchandise, Beyond Beauty – Taiwan From Above 看見臺灣, as beautiful as it is, could just not rival with the ad I SEE YOU from EVA Air, much thanks to Takeshi Kaneshiro 金城武 XD . Eslite 誠品 earned the Most Creative title from the selected panel of judges, and rightly so, they’ve certainly done a lot to promote Taiwanese design and creativity over the past few years.

If you still don’t know where to go on this three-days week-end, look through the Most Creative Neighborhood/District or Most Creative Exhibition, chances are you might find something of interest :) .

Not that I’ll be able to attend, but the Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF) is kicking off today, until October 19th. Just like Tricky Taipei, I find that it is an exciting event, especially with the programme serie Salute! Independent Documentaries in China, dedicated to showcasing often banned productions from Mainland China.

With the Beijing Independent Film Festival (forced to be) cancelled at the last minute this year, this friendly gesture from TIDF is yet another evidence of the cultural, or rather political, differences, separating the two Chinas.

On a foodie note, TIDF is also organizing a series of Doc Café screenings, spread over six unique (or so they say ;) ) coffee-shops, where filmmakers will also be present to exchange with the audience.