Taiwan wins over 50 taste awards in Belgium



Brussels, June 2 (CNA) Taiwanese food suppliers won more than 50 Superior Taste Awards in Belgium on Friday, largely for tea products and snacks.

The Superior Taste Award, organized by the Brussels-based International Taste and Quality Institute (iTQi), is an annual prize open to any food or drink product available on a retail basis.

A total of 60 food entries from 38 Taiwanese enterprises participated in the event, competing against 1,500 food items from more than 900 food suppliers around the world.

They won 18 "three-star" prizes, given to "exceptional products" with scores of 90 or higher, 22 "two-star" awards for "remarkable products" and 11 "one-star" awards for "notable tasting products," according to the competition's organizers.

The Taiwanese prize winners held a flag of the Republic of China at the award ceremony and chanted: "Taiwan No. 1."

Chang San-wo (張三我), a tea farmer from Taiwan's Nantou County, who led Taiwan's delegation at the competition, said the number of tea products from Taiwan competing in the 2016 contest was double the number in 2015, and they won 10 three-star awards.

Chang's "Highland Four Season Tea" was one of Taiwan's three-star winners.

Another tea farmer from Nantou, Lai Yung-fu (賴永富), also earned a "three-star" award for his oolong tea.

Nantou is well known for its tea production that benefits from the county's hilly terrain and good water quality, and Lai said he was grateful that his home county had such a good natural environment for growing tea.

Food processor Zhen He Food Co. was among the other Taiwanese award winners, taking three prizes for its crisp chili snacks.

The company's head, Lee Chen-wei (李振威), said the snacks were simply a way of using up dried chilies left over from the production of kimchi, or pickled cabbage, and said winning international acclaim was really an unexpected surprise. 

(By Leaf Jiang and Frances Huang)