Event: Free expo on Taiwanese culture, food, fashion and products at Grand Central.
Sponsors included: TAITRA – Taiwanese External Trade Development Council and Sheraton Laguardia East
A girlfriend of mine texted me to come check out this event, which showcased Taiwanese cuisine, music, fashion and technology. With the Chinese Premier’s State visit this week and with the UN circus in town for the annual summit, I can only guess why the Taiwanese decided to showcase their goods to the public in this impressive event. Any why not indeed? I have long been interested in this tiny island but sadly only hear about stinky tofu.
The expo at Grand Central was divided in two: the stage area had music and was surrounded by a food stand, bubble tea company and the Taiwanese tourist office and China and Eva airlines. The second half at the far end displayed products from Formosa: such as laptops, phones, bicycles, exericise machines and more.
The stage area featured traditional Taiwanese music, a dance troupe peformed, and a fashion show. Although I’m not a big fan of bubble tea – something about its gelatinous texture doesn’t suit me, I decided to enjoy a complimentary cup and ignore my fear of choking on a tapioca ball.
The Coffin Bread, from Mr. Chou’s Shrimp Rolls, filled with a creamy chicken soup tasted like buttered toast and chicken pot pie. According to the presenters, this bizarrely named delicacy first appeared in the forties, It seems that so many Asian cultures do their take on Western cuisine. Like India has its pao bajis and frankies, Japan is famous for omrice and beef curry, coffin bread is a Taiwanese interpretation of Western comfort food. Pretty damn delicous for a morbid dish!
My only wish is that they served more kinds of Taiwanese food. Even if we had to pay, it would have been worth it. My only other gripe is that the product side of the event seemed isolated from where most of the audience was. I think they should have done more to promote the gadgets. The most unsual I saw of Taiwanese producrsbwas the folding bicycles from Foldie Foodie, which were practical but with very small wheels.