The fragrance of Taiwanese soy sauce has spread to Belize, one of Taiwan’s diplomatic Central America allies, thanks to a Taiwanese technical mission stationed in the former British colony.
Teaching Belizeans how to make soy sauce and cultivate the fungi needed to ferment the soybeans is part of a food program undertaken by the International Cooperation and Development Fund, one of a number of Taiwan-sponsored programs.
Chu Yu-ying (朱育瑩), who is performing his alternative military service with the technical mission, believes the food program will not only help increase Belizeans’ household incomes, but also promote friendship between people of the two countries.
Chu said he remembers thinking how underdeveloped and barren the country was when he arrived in Belize more than two years ago.
However, the mission, in cooperation with Belize’s government, helped change that by organizing soy sauce workshops for women in northern communities, he said.
The mission has now passed on the know-how and techniques needed to make soy sauce, enabling the workshops to produce the condiment on their own. They have even started to market and sell it with the mission’s help.
Chu said he helped establish standard operating procedures for cultivating and preserving the fungi needed to properly brew soy sauce and also built a system for buying the needed equipment and devices.
“I’m really happy when I see those who knew nothing about soy sauce becoming skilled and capable in handling the fermentation process without any assistance,” he said.
According to the technical mission, the food processing program, which also consists of offering food processing courses at local colleges and commercializing locally produced dried fruit, is aimed at improving food production techniques and helping create jobs for women living in the countryside.