Traditional foods turn on the taste buds at carnival

By Yu Sen-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Aug 06, 2004 - Page 19

In a fast-changing place like Taipei, it is usually not easy to find food stores with over 100 years of history, unless you are guided by experienced local residents.

This year, the Taipei Traditional Food Carnival (傳統美食嘉年華) will gather all the stores of historical note in the Shilin night market so that visitors can enjoy their retro dainties all in one place.

Now in its sixth year, the carnival takes place tomorrow and Sunday. This year, the celebration is in coordination with the 120th anniversary of Taipei City. There will be a line of 120 antique food shops, each with more than 100 years of history, in the square of the Shilin night market.

Apart from the food stalls, there will also be NT$1 special promotional sales for food. There will also be quiz games and ice cream-eating contests.

According to the Market Administration Office of Taipei City Government (台北市市場處), traditional cakes will be the theme of this year's carnival. The word for cake (pronounced gao) and happiness (pronounced gaoxing) makes the play on words more than fortuitous. "We hope all visitors will feel happy eating the cakes," said Phoenix Pan, an official from the office.

Kuo Yuan-yi (郭元益) established in 1867, will present its well-known pastry cakes. Lin He Fa Rice and Rice Cakes (林合發油飯和粿店) is well-known for meat sauce rice. The store has existed in Taipei's Yungle market for 110 years. Another pastry cake store, Lee Ting Hsiang (李亭香) will present its brand-name cake -- ping-hsi cake (平西餅), which has white bean paste mixed sugar and oil, wrapped with crispy skin.