President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promoted pig blood cake (豬血糕) — a traditional Taiwanese snack that was reportedly banned in the US due to food safety concerns, defending the quality of the food and the nation’s night market culture in his weekly online video.
In the video, Ma invited two vendors from night markets in Tainan and Kaohsiung to share their experiences and promote night market food and culture.
“I like pig blood and duck blood a lot. Recently there have been reports about the sales ban of the food in the US and I don’t think they understand the culture in Taiwan. How could they ban such delicious food?” Ma said.
The blood cake, which also contains sticky rice, is usually eaten steamed and served on a wooden stick or cooked in a hot pot. While popular in Taiwan, the conditions under which the food is produced caused concern recently after local media outlets reported in September that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had banned sales of the product.
Although the USDA Web site did not have any information about the reported ban, the Control Yuan started an investigation into the production of the product and censured the Council of Agriculture and the Department of Health on Thursday for failing to develop a hygiene standard for collecting pig’s blood and for not making it mandatory for pig blood cakes to be subject to health inspections.
Joining Ma in promoting the traditional snack, local vendor Chen I-ming (陳一民), who sells duck blood soup at a night market in Tainan, said his duck blood was made in accordance with a hygienic procedure and was certified as sanitary by health agencies.
Ma said the night market is a representation of grassroots culture and served as a thermometer for the local economy. Citing the consumer confidence index provided by the National Central University, which reached 81.66 percent last month, the president expressed confidence on the economic outlook in the next year.
The government would promote the blood cake and other local foods through festivals and hopefully more people will visit night markets after the government and China reach a consensus on allowing individual Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan, Ma said.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
Actress Hu Ling (胡伶) on Saturday became the first Chinese movie star to walk the red carpet of the Golden Horse Awards since 2019, when China boycotted Taiwan’s biggest awards show over political tensions. Beijing banned its entertainers from joining the awards, dubbed the Chinese-language Oscars, after documentary director Fu Yu (傅榆) voiced support for Taiwan’s formal independence in an acceptance speech in 2018. There were no films from China in the 2019 nomination list and several Hong Kong movies dropped out that year, while several big commercial productions were conspicuously absent at both the 2020 and 2021 awards. However, Hu, nominated for