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Taiwanese gourmet food to 'explore meanings of life' in Japan

2012/05/11 21:18:12

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Taiwanese cuisine that features "mind-healing power" will be presented in Japan to strengthen relations between the two sides and boost Japanese tourist visits to Taiwan, the Tourism Bureau said Friday.

The bureau said it will showcase Taiwanese gourmet food in Tokyo on May 18, when some 100 people can take a bite of dishes designed to "symbolize all tastes of life."

"The dishes combining both Taiwanese and Japanese ingredients symbolize our close friendship," said bureau deputy director-general Chang Shi-chung.

One of the featured dishes, called "Zen," will combine Japanese ayu (a fish) and Taiwanese pickled cabbage and carefully wrap them in paper and tie them together with a cotton string.

The patience required before the dish is eaten symbolizes the twists and turns before a harvest, the dish's creator said.

Chen Chao-lin, leader of the winning team in the 2010 Domestic Culinary Contest, said he will prepare 10 different dishes, with each of them describing a kind of emotion in life.

"Life is a table of different dishes," he said. "I think the food will resonate with Japanese people and lead them to ponder some of life's meanings."

Chang, meanwhile, said he hoped the display of delicacies could serve as an incentive to Japanese tourists to visit Taiwan.

Many Japanese chose to travel to Taiwan last year to thank the country for its humanitarian efforts after the March 11 earthquake, and Chang said the bureau was trying to maintain the momentum by introducing new promotional campaigns.

According to the bureau, nearly 1.3 million Japanese nationals traveled to Taiwan for pleasure in 2011, a 20 percent increase fromthe previous year.

The bureau hopes that by 2015, travel exchanges between the two countries will reach 3 million tourists per year, compared with the current level of 2.3 million.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)