Sun, Nov 02, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Sea bass a hit at ‘Made in Taiwan’ agricultural fair

LIKE A FISH IN WATER The Council of Agriculture said that the categories of products to be featured at the next promotional activity would soon be made public

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Thousands of people flocked yesterday to Taipei’s former Songshan Tobacco Plant to take advantage of low-cost agricultural products offered at the Council of Agriculture’s (COA) “Made in Taiwan is Best — Come and Buy Our Agricultural Goods” fair, which ends today.

In its second and final weekend, the fair was the Executive Yuan’s second wave of weekend promotions for domestically produced goods, Government Information Office Minister Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said last week, adding that the categories of products to be promoted next weekend would soon be announced.

Differing from the fair last week, where mostly fruits, vegetables and flowers were offered, this weekend’s fair focused on meats and seafood, the council said.

Among the most popular products was farmed sea bass, which was sold in cases of five for NT$350. During promotional hours, the cases went for NT$200, attracting large numbers of customers.

“The fish is so cheap. It’s about 40 percent lower than market price,” said 35-year-old Wang Ching-yun (王靖雲), adding that she stood in line for almost 30 minutes to buy a case.

“I wanted to buy the fish for my mother because it’s good for old people to eat sea bass, it is very nutritious,” Wang said.

Sea bass contains large quantities of nutrients, including easily digestible proteins and fats, as well as vitamin B2, calcium, potassium and iron, Aquaculture Development Association CEO Huang Che-yuan (黃徹源) said.

In earlier times, sea bass was considered an expensive delicacy and was traditionally consumed after a woman gave birth, or following major surgery, he said.

“Taiwan’s farm technology for sea bass is very mature now. We have an annual production rate of about 8,000 tonnes, so they can be sold at very reasonable prices,” Huang said.

Sea bass is in season right now and visitors at the fair can get a free bowl of fish soup to experience the taste for themselves, Huang said.

Other promotional deals include chickens weighing as much as 3kg, also sold for NT$200, the council said, adding that cuttlefish balls, sausage and rice wine were also on sale.

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