Tasting of Polish dishes at the Taipei International Book Exhibition

A tasting of Polish dishes - pierogi with cabbage and mushrooms as well as with potato and cottage cheese filling - took place on Wednesday in the Polish pavilion at the Taipei International Book Exhibition. The event attracted a great deal of interest.

The Taipei International Book Exhibition TIBE, one of the most important events of its kind in the Far East, has been taking place in the Taiwanese capital Taipei since Tuesday. This is the first time Poland is appearing as Guest of Honour. The event includes meetings with Polish artists, concerts, and the tasting of Polish food. The fair will last until 5 February.

One of the events accompanying the exhibition was a live cooking show, during which discussions about Polish cuisine were held and Polish food was served.

The food was prepared by Bartosz Hendzel and his wife Evie, owners of the Polish restaurant Wanderlust Beans Project, operating in Taichung (Taiwan) since 2019.

"We prepared Polish pierogi, two types - with a potato and cottage cheese filling and with cabbage and mushrooms. I think everyone enjoyed them," Hendzel told Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Asked about the interest in Polish cuisine in Taiwan, he reckoned that "for the Taiwanese, our cuisine is still very much exotic". "Generally, Taiwanese people like pierogi, bigos, our soups, white sausage," he recounted.

Polish flavours were introduced to the Taiwanese by Emilia Borza-Yeh and her husband Shihkai Yeh - internet creators, YouTubers, and authors of several books related to Poland.

"During the event we talked about Polish cuisine, not only about what dishes we enjoy in Poland, but also about our customs. Some of them are unusual for Taiwanese, such as eating pierogi with strawberries or eating cold sandwiches for breakfast," Borza-Yeh said. "I hope that through cuisine, Taiwanese people will become interested in our country," he added.

When asked whether Poland was present in their minds, she replied, "I think increasingly so". "I remember we once came to this place for a tourists' fair. There was a map hung up there that ended with Germany. There was nothing to the East of Germany, but this has changed over time. I think the Taiwanese know where Poland is and there are a lot of trips to Poland too," she pointed out.

A 22-year-old student from Taiwan, who tasted Polish dishes, told PAP that Polish cuisine is very interesting and, at the same time, different from Taiwanese cuisine. She found Polish pierogi to be very tasty.

Source: from Taipei Katarzyna Krzykowska, Polish Press Agency (PAP)