The Taipei City Government has released an innovative “Fotiaoqiang Index” as part of its monitoring of food prices in the run-up to the Lunar New Year, the most important and largest traditional festival in Taiwan.
The index, touted as the first of its kind in Taiwan, indicates price fluctuations for 10 vital ingredients of fotiaoqiang (佛跳牆), a traditional dish that is translated as “Buddha jumps over the wall,” Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said on Tuesday.
The ingredients in the index include sea cucumbers, pork knuckles, pork ribs, chicken wings, fish skin, chestnuts, mushrooms, dried Chinese red dates, taro and king trumpet mushrooms.
On the basis of 100 points indicating the average price fluctuation of the ingredients last year, this year’s Taipei Fotiaoqiang Index recorded a moderate rise to 106.03, or a 6 percent increase, from the previous level, Hau said.
Huang Hsin-hui (黃馨慧), who heads a civic group representing businesses in the city’s Binjiang commercial district, cited the results of a market survey that showed that among the 10 ingredients, only chestnuts and red dates saw a fall in price from NT$120 per four-person portion to NT$100.
The price of chicken wings increased by 33.3 percent, the biggest jump of all the ingredients surveyed, Huang said.
The dish, created in the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912), is known for its rich taste, its use of various high-quality ingredients and the special manner of its preparation.
Its name describes its legendary ability to entice vegetarian monks into jumping over their temple walls to the outside world to partake of the meat-based dish.
In Taiwan, it is considered a must-have dish at home and in restaurants when families gather to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
As a result of its popularity, increasing numbers of specialist stores, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and Web sites are selling their own versions of ready-to-eat fotiaoqiang in advance of the festival.
Depending on the ingredients used, prices can range from just a couple of hundred New Taiwan dollars to several thousand NT dollars.
According to media reports, a premium version of fotiaoqiang produced by the Palais de Chine Hotel, containing abalone and shark fin, is priced at NT$8,800 per dish (US$303).
At the other end of the scale is a version sold by Carrefour hypermarkets for only NT$208 per portion.
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
Nearly 60 percent of Kaohsiung residents polled said that they would vote to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), think tank Taiwan Brain Trust, which conducted the survey, said yesterday. A petition to recall the mayor is undergoing a second review and if it is passed, a vote is to be held in the latter half of June. Of those polled, 69.7 percent said that they would participate in a vote, while 56 percent said they would still participate if there was a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The data showed that, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, Han would likely
FALSE INFORMATION: The report quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner are ‘in prison-like conditions’ A BBC report that quotes Britons’ complaints about quarantine conditions they experienced in Taiwan is not true, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, expressing regret over damage done to the nation’s reputation for competent disease-prevention measures. The BBC report published on Wednesday quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner were quarantined on Wednesday last week and are being kept “in prison-like conditions.” “The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes,” the mother was quoted as saying, without naming the location of
ODD TIMING: Taiwan has called Chinese drills around the Taiwan Strait provocative and urged Beijing to focus on combating COVID-19 rather than harass its neighbor China yesterday accused the US of playing a dangerous game with its support for Taiwan, after a US warship passed through Taiwan Strait. China has been angered by the administration of US President Donald Trump stepping up support for the nation, such as through more arms sales, US patrols near Taiwan and last month’s visit to Washington by former premier and vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德). US Seventh Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Anthony Junco said the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Wednesday, in line with international law. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment