Mountain Pagua New Residents' Cooking Skills Competition in Changhua County
With the approach of the Spring Festival, Changhua's largest new residents' cooking skills competition is coming! The "109th year Changhua County 4th New Resident Reunion Mountain Pagua Cooking Skills Competition" was undertaken on the 19th at Changhua County Huatan Community Development Association. Organized by Taiwan New Residents Development and Exchange Association, a total of 30 groups of new immigrants and second-generation children showed their unique cooking skills. The dishes of various countries were displayed on the tables that made people's mouths water. Both the competitors and the people also wore special national costumes that made the event look like an exotic carnival. Adults and children savored the cuisines very happily and all had a joyful celebration for the Lunar New Year.
There were new resident friends from China and Southeast Asia that joined in the event. They respectively demonstrated their signature dishes, such as steamed fish with spicy chopped peppers, Indonesian turmeric rice, Vietnamese crepe, and lotus blood duck...etc. The cuisines were not only delicious but well-decorated. After winning a gold medal of a 3D fruit and vegetable carving competition in South Korea recently, our new resident friend in Changhua, Wen Caiyan, also particularly made a 3D art jelly which was carved into tree peonies meaning "Hua kai fugui"(wealth) to wich everyone a happy new year.
Activity Highlight 1: Black Soldier Fly
One of the biggest highlights is the "Meng su su" that impressed many people. This dish was made by a new resident from Guangdong in China, Shi Shan. She stated that the dish is made of black soldier flies soaked in rice wine, and then she fried it, drained out the oil, and added mayonnaise. Although its appearance was scary, it was delicious and nutritious. She is actually a “circular economy” entrepreneur who specializes in producing eggs and feeding waste food to black soldier flies which are high-protein insects containing crude fats and antibacterial peptides, so their larvae are used as feed for chickens without antibiotics and can produce high-quality eggs with no drug residue.
Activity Highlight 2: Halal Certification
The event also particularly invited Chairman of Taiwan Muslim Friendly Environment Development Association, Zheng Shunfu, and Executive Chef of the West Lake Resortopia, Lin Changqi, to introduce and demonstrate exotic cuisines with Halal certification for the people at the event can understand Muslim's culture through "savoring".
Chairman of Taiwan New Residents Development and Exchange Association, Liang Jinni, indicates that this event has been held for four years and provides a stage for new resident friends to shine themselves with traditional cultures of cooking. Besides, through activities, more and more people will understand Taiwan's food culture is enriched by new immigrants and embrace diversity and multiculturalism.
Lunar New Year is a family reunion festival. Many new immigrant women who came to Taiwan for marriage from their hometowns might be unable to return homes to spend the New Year with their families because of their hometowns being far away or the responsibility of taking care of their families in Taiwan. The first new resident legislator, Lin Lichan, indicates that this year's event was held in Huatan because she has lived in Huatan for marriage, so it's especially meaningful to her. 20 years ago, she came to Taiwan for marriage from Cambodia. Holding such an event before the Lunar New Year not only encourages new resident women to go out and show their cooking skills but also allows them to spend the New Year together and to encourage each other to share their nostalgic feelings. Apart from fighting for new immigrants' rights at the Legislative Yuan in recent years, she has also worked hard to make Taiwan a more friendly environment. She has been very supportive of organizing such local activities that go deep into the community and been building a friendly bridge between Taiwanese and new immigrants so that they can understand each other more.