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Thursday, March 23, 2023

At the Taipei International Bakery Show 2023

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Flying Dutchman
Flying Dutchman
For detailed biographical information, please check the very first article of this blog. Thanks!

A Canadian friend of mine, who with great success sells his homemade cakes and quiches at another traditional market in Taipei, has been very helpful when it comes down to my own little food business by coming up with some good ideas.

As a skilled carpenter, he even custom-made three nice wooden shelves and charged me only for the materials. Presented in this way, my salads and meatballs look even more appetizing.

Last Friday he gave me the advice to drop by at the Taipei International Bakery Show 2023 after visiting it himself. He thought I would discover new packaging options for my German and Spanish delicacies.

Originally, I had no plans to do so because I hadn´t heard about this event in advance. Due to my busy schedule finding the right time represented a challenge. Luckily, last weekend I wasn´t as occupied as usual preparing my weekly sales.

That’s why I decided to ask a recently married mixed couple, whose little indigenous wedding ceremony I had attended in early January, if they were available on Sunday.

I was delighted to know that there had no other plans and we decided to meet at 10:30 AM at the entrance of Nangang Exhibition Hall 1 in eastern Taipei. My girlfriend joined us quite spontaneously and a friend of them also did so.

My partner and I arrived too early and checked out the ticket booth. It was an unpleasant surprise to hear that foreigners would be granted free access to the fair if they registered on the spot, but locals would have to pay to get in.

This strange, if not outright discriminatory procedure reminded me of the 1980s, when the notorious disco Buffalo Town had a very similar policy that nowadays would be correctly branded as racist.

Understandably, my sweetheart wasn’t amused at all and hesitated if she should actually swallow this particular toad. While we were still thinking about what how to proceed correctly in this tricky situation, a local businessman offered to take her into the hall with him at a reduced free.

After the couple had arrived with their companion, while the newly-wed foreigner got a free pass immediately just like me, the Asians presented two tickets given to them by a relative who operates a little café. Be that as it may, this whole issue left me with a bad aftertaste.

We spent (maybe too) much time at the 1st floor of the exhibition hall, where they were mostly food processing machinery, packaging for baked goods and culinary literature to be admired or enjoyed.

Some of the very creative boxes for pastry looked pretty amazing and would make even mediocre goods stand out! Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything suitable for what I’m currently selling.

On the other hand, for a little while both my Nordic friend and myself were seriously thinking about buying one of those not only beautiful, but also quite affordable knives we discovered almost immediately.

He instead tried out some disappointing ice cream, which was either too sweet or quite tasteless. Lately he hasn’t been so lucky when it comes down to spoiling himself at these kind of events…

I suddenly thought about new measuring spoons, as my old set is literally crumbling. Though what I found was either still expensive or had the same price as in cheaper shops around the city.

Also, there was a bargain high-quality portable oven which caught my attention. Nevertheless, in the end I didn’t purchase it because I don’t have enough space for another of those household appliances.

After we went to the 4th floor, we were offered all kinds of samples, from turnip cake and noodles to different types of alcohol like plum wine, which I kindly rejected.

My buddy bought some nice fermented soy sauce, which he said would be impossible to find anywhere in Europe, even at one of the multiple Asian supermarkets that have opened there over the last two decades.

I got some German whipping cream, usually very expensive in Taiwan, at a big discount. Soon I will use it to prepare one of my legendary curry chicken dishes.

I’m also looking forward to trying the Indonesian coconut sugar with my daily cereals. It’s kind of funny that I got into the habit of having a bowl for breakfast in the Far East, where they can be prohibitively costly.

Although ultimately, I didn’t discover any packages to make my creations more appealing to the Taiwanese customer, I was quite satisfied with our little trip, which ended around 3 PM. Looking forward to the next show!

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