The annual Taipei Pineapple Cake Festival opened yesterday, with Taiwanese tea featured as a key ingredient this year to promote the nation’s tea culture and add a creative ingredient to the traditional Taiwanese treat.
The festival, which runs until tomorrow at Taipei Expo Park, has attracted 81 bakeries from around the nation to showcase pineapple cakes in varying forms and fillings from pineapple to winter melon, cranberry and strawberry.
Now on its seventh year, the Taipei City Office of Commerce and the Taipei Bakery Association have chosen Taiwanese tea this year as the key ingredient, inviting bakeries to compete for the title of the most creative pineapple cakes.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) touted the festival, saying it had successfully promoted pineapple cakes as Taipei’s iconic souvenir and helped boost the business of many traditional bakeries.
“The soaring popularity of pineapple cakes has also boosted the local tourism industry and pineapple produce,” he said.
“The festival has created a successful model for cooperation between the government and local business associations,” he added.
The souvenir promotion strategy has boosted sales of pineapple cakes in bakeries from NT$1 billion (US$33.3 million) a year to NT$25 billion, according to the Taipei City Commerce Office.
Allin Lee (李珮寧), an assistant manager at Bread Societe, winner of a bakery competition in using Taiwanese tea in pineapple cakes, said the bakery added oolong tea powder to the pineapple filling, giving the cake a more delicate taste.
Other participating bakeries also used well-known teas from around the country, such as Sun Moon Lake Black Tea and Oriental Beauty Tea. Visitors can have a taste of the pineapple cakes at the festival, which will also feature baking competitions today.