Taiwan was ruled by different sovereignties in the past and under the influence of culture exchanges. As a result, the culinary cultures from different countries have been introduced to Taiwan. The popularity of hamburgers and French fries, for instance, has made more and more people non-rice eaters. In addition, many countries have been selling into Taiwan low-priced rice grown with farming equipment, after Taiwan entered the WTO. Therefore, many families only buy imported cheaper prices. All these factors have squeezed the market for Taiwanese rice.
Although the sales volume of Taiwanese rice has been on the decline, due to competition from imported rice, the Taiwanese farmers and the government have been working to improve cultivation techniques, rice quality and taste to encourage local people to eat Taiwanese rice. The competitive pressure has enhanced the quality and competitiveness of Taiwanese rice.
The long history of the rice culture and the drive to encourage consumption have seen a large diversity of delicious dishes and beverages made with Taiwanese rice. For example, the crystal-like, evenly sized Indica rice is steamed as a staple or made into rice crackers.
Indica rice can be divided into Zailai rice and long grain rice. Zailai rice is made into rice vermicelli, radish cakes, brown sugar cakes, taro cakes, and flat rice noodles. Long grain rice is used in sushi because of its right level of stickiness.
Glutinous rice comes in two types: round glutinous rice and long glutinous rice. Round glutinous rice is made into sweet rice cakes, red tortoise cakes, mugwort rice cakes, glutinous rice balls, and Laba congees. Long glutinous rice, slightly less sticky than round glutinous rice, is usually made into Taiwanese sticky rice, and rice meat balls. In fact, these two rices can be made into almost the same dishes and cakes. Some of these foods are also used as offerings to gods. For example, brown rice cakes are on the shrine table to honor gods and ancestors during the Chinese New Year.
2020.08.04, 2020.08.28, 2020.11.15 interview records