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Aiyu

Aiyu

Aiyu (Ficus pumila L.) is a special Taiwanese mountain herb used to make cool foods for the summer. Although it is a healthy, low-calorie food, many people in Taiwan think of it only in connection with the popular dessert: aiyu jelly. A trip to Taoyuan Township can teach you much more about aiyu. Aiyu grows both wild and on farms in high altitude mountain areas of Taoyuan Township. A hectare may yield a harvest of 500 kg. At a price of NT$700 per kg it is one of Taoyuan’s important commercial crops. Thick wild aiyu juice cooked with in Lingshan spring water makes a unique taste treat. Even President Chen Shui-bian praised it profusely after taking a taste at the Lily Festival in 1991. No wonder that it is one of Taoyuan Township’s prized agricultural specialties. Aiyu-related promotions are held every year, culminating in the crowning of the Aiyu Prince and Aiyu Princess. Every important tourist spot in Taoyuan is graced by little booths selling iced aiyu juice or raw aiyu to take home and prepare it yourself. Don’t miss it!

─Taoyuan Township office
─Indigenous Culture and Tourism information website

Stone-Covered Mud Kiln

Stone-Covered Mud Kiln

Stone-covered Mud KilnSince Rukai people would climb mountains to do their work, for convenience and economy they would use a culinary method known as "Yicipi" or "Shihpi Soil Kiln". It is a method of stewing and roasting food in a kiln with stones, especially sweet potato, pumpkin and taro. Meat and fish may also be cooked this way, after carefully wrapping it in leaves, with an outer covering of Alpinia speciosa or banana leaves. The taste of food cooked this way is really unique, and visitors to the Maolin Scenic Area have the opportunity to try it for themselves.

Source: Kaohsiung City government
Bulugu

Bulugu

"Bulu Valley" is also called "Indigenous Sausage", as the meaning of the Rukai word is to 'fill something in'.  The food is similar to Chinese sausage, but the Bulu Valley ingredients and method of preparation are quite different. The meat stuffing is made of pig's blood cake and ground meat, mixed with taro powder and then stuffed into cleaned small intestines. Finally, it is twisted to seal the ends and put into a cauldron of boiling water or oil. Whether the "Bulu Valley" is eaten boiled or deep fried, the taste and smell of the taro powder will make this dish distinctive.

Source: Kaohsiung City government

Plums

Plums

Taoyuan Township has 800 hectares planted with plum trees. Every winter in plum blossom season, visitors come to enjoy the scenery with its white plum blossoms. From March to April, when plums begin to mature, fruit farmers are busy picking the harvest. If picked ten days before the harvest season, the plums are not ripe yet and must be processed as bitter plums. In the middle of April, the harvest is used to make wine, produce preserved plums and dried plums, etc. Plums are thus one of the most important economic resources of Taoyuan Township: They add natural beauty and help the tourism industry, and they're delicious, too!

Monkey Head Mushrooms

Monkey Head Mushrooms

Monkey Head Mushrooms are a kind of large-size fungus, whose surface is full of acicular growths that look almost like hair. They get this name because their appearance is similar to a monkey's head. The mushroom contains plenty of protein and polysaccharides, as well seven kinds of essential amino acids for the human body. The content of glutamic acid is pretty high and it is a very famous and delicious edible fungus. People believe they can raise immunity levels, lower cholesterol, cure gastric ulcers, and have anti-cancer effects. In Chinese tradition, the “king of mushrooms” along with swallow’s nest, bear's paw, and sea cucumber are considered four famous tonic dishes. Taoyuan Township's Baoshan Village mountain area has the high altitude, moisture, clouds, and mists to successfully grow Monkey Head Mushrooms. This local specialty ranges in price from $150 to $200 for each Taiwanese kilo (approximately 0.6 kilogram). Taste them in Baoshan, and don’t forget to bring some home: whether cooked in soup, deep fried or sautéed they make an unusual delicacy!

─Taoyuan Township office
─Kaohsiung Farmers’ Association

Last Update:2021-10-21

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