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Writer emphasizes importance of culture behind food

2012/04/23 21:31:00

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) Well-known Taiwanese feminist writer and gourmet Li Ang on Monday leveled criticism at local food and cookery TV shows, saying they failed to present the culture and history associated with foods.

TV programs should focus more on the relationship between culture and food instead of simply introducing how to prepare dishes, Li said at an event promoting an upcoming series of speeches by local writers.

Many aspects of Taiwanese cuisine have been influenced by Chinese immigrants that came to Taiwan, Li said.

Drawing attention to Shanghainese cuisine in Taiwan, Li pointed out that there are slight differences between Shanghainese food in Shanghai and that found in Taipei due to contributing factors like culture, history and politics.

Offering another example, she added that the Taiwanese dish of sliced poached chicken and pork, which is served with a number of sauces, was created because Chinese immigrants could only bring sauces with them when they moved to Taiwan centuries ago.

Similarly, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers came to Taiwan in 1949 with all kinds of sauces such as dou ban jiang, a salty paste made from fermented beans, Li said.

(By Chen Chih-chung and Hanna Liu)