Taipei, Taiwan – (work wireFrom boba tea to popcorn chicken to bao, Taiwanese food is becoming more popular and more visible in the United States. Meanwhile, with the growing geopolitical disputes over Taiwan’s status, public interest in Taiwanese culture has increased. TaiwanPlus, a new streaming platform from Taiwan, caters to this interest with a range of free programs that provide education about Taiwan’s history, culture, and diversity through the lens of food.
“Food is a great way to connect with other cultures and learn about the many influences that have shaped Taiwan and its unique food traditions,” says Michael Yu, Acting CEO of TaiwanPlus. “We hope that through our free programming, viewers will come out not only excited about a delicious Taiwanese meal, but with a deeper understanding of this thriving and vibrant nation.”
In “Chez Jorge Taiwanese Vegan Cuisine,” 20-year-old George Lee, whose vegan take on Taiwanese dishes during the pandemic has spread, outlines some recipes that have earned him hundreds of thousands of followers and a cookbook deal with an American publisher.
In “Cooking with Ahma,” Asian-American journalist and cookbook author Clarissa Wei explains the intergenerational power of food, as she learns to cook from a local Taiwanese grandmother.
At Jason’s Table: Shocked and surprised, Master Chef’s runner-up Jason Wang serves Taiwanese dishes to guests from all over the world. In the final episode, they sampled different versions of vegetarian dishes and guess which one recommended by the Michelin guide—a reference to Taiwan being named a vegetarian food destination by CNN. “I consider myself a food guru as well as a chef, and TaiwanPlus is the perfect forum for introducing more people to the flavors that shaped me, growing up in Massachusetts with immigrant parents from Taiwan,” says Wang.
In “Taiwan’s Food Delights,” viewers dive deep into everything from Taiwan’s famous exotic fruits; to the nostalgic kitchen of the villages of military dependents, where families from all over China share their cooking; For the Japanese colonial history of Taiwanese bento boxes, or “bian dang”. An episode about the pineapple cake — the bounty that House Speaker Tsai Ing-wen gave during her recent visit to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — shows how the food industry sparked a boom in wild pineapple cultivation.
“Cooking with Ahma”, “Chez Jorge Taiwanese Vegan Cuisine”, “Jason’s Table: Shocked and Surprised” and “Taiwan’s Food Delights” – along with many other food and culture offerings – are available at www.TaiwanPlus.com.
Chez Jorge Taiwanese Vegan Cuisine is a 30-episode series featuring George Lee, a popular Instagram influencer with a global following, and his quick tips on cooking delicious Taiwanese vegetarian dishes.
Cooking With Ahma is a program in which Clarissa Wei, a Taiwanese American working on her own cookbook, learns how to make doughy soup (mian-j-da) from YouTube influencer Wang Bae-jin. At 70, Wang is an internet feisty with over 200,000 subscribers, dedicating her channel to vegan recipes inspired by her late mother’s cooking.
Jason’s Table: Shocked and Amazed: MasterChef co-runner-up Jason Wang introduces influencers from different countries to some of the most authentic and unusual Taiwanese dishes. Through the games, Jason introduces an international audience to Taiwanese cuisine and explores the context behind the country’s rich food culture.
Taiwan’s Food Delights is a 38-episode program showcasing the diverse cuisines and food cultures of Taiwan. Through interviews with chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies, audiences can explore the stories and history under the tables of Taiwanese food.
Based in a thriving democracy in the heart of the most dynamic and fastest growing region on earth, we are Taiwan’s premier English-language media platform for global entertainment, entertainment and news. TaiwanPlus brings independent, unbiased daily news by international journalists focused on global and local events, bringing you stories from Taiwan that will resonate around the world. With our unique position in geopolitics and international trade, TaiwanPlus also provides an inside look at China-Taiwan relations with in-depth reports and analysis.
We showcase Taiwan’s uniqueness in culture and lifestyle – as well as the best of Taiwan’s food, travel, music and entertainment – and what binds us together as part of a global community. TaiwanPlus produces three daily newsletters five days a week, develops long and short features, organizes movies and other entertainment programs, creates engaging social media content, and much more. Wherever you are, on any device, TaiwanPlus offers world-class content from a Taiwanese perspective.