Chishang Rice wins nation-wide reputation for quality and taste

Chishang Rice wins nation-wide reputation for quality and taste
Chishang Rice wins nation-wide reputation for quality and taste
Chishang Rice wins nation-wide reputation for quality and taste
Chishang Rice wins nation-wide reputation for quality and taste

Do you know where the most expensive rice in Taiwan is grown? The answer is Chishang Township! Chishang is located in Taitung County, a place called the “pure land” in the East Rift Valley because there are not many large factories there. The area offers well watered fields that of free of pollution and blessed with ideal weather conditions, all just right for growing outstanding agricultural products like Chishang Rice.
Clean, clear water plays a very important role in successful planting of rice. There are no unhealthy materials that can affect the agricultural product grown in this pollution-free environment. Chishang Township is an ideal place to plant rice. In addition to the great water quality, the temperature varies little from daytime to nighttime, extending the daily growing period of rice. These advantages all contribute to a flavor that makes Chishang Rice different from other varieties of rice grown throughout Taiwan.
The Council of Agricultural of the Executive Yuan invited leading agricultural associations all over Taiwan to take part in a rice competition in 2013, a contest aimed at raising the overall quality of rice in Taiwan. After several serious and harsh evaluations including the appearance, taste and texture of the rice, the judges selected “Chishang Rice” as the number one rice in Taiwan.
Local growers promote Chishang Rice with the Chishang Rice Certification Mark was implemented in 2005. Over 80% of the farms in this area have received the Chishang Rice certification, passing rigorous tests for presence of pesticides and quality. In addition, farmers in Chishang take sustainable use of the soil very seriously. They understand the importance of cultivating land which will yield the highest quality rice.

The Chishang lunchbox (biandang)
The Chishang lunchbox, better known as the Chishang biandang, has two features. One is the Chishang rice, and the other is its attractive wooden lunchboxes. During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, the Chishang lunchbox was actually a rolled-up cylinder of rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, with stewed pork, carrots and grilled dried meat as well as pig's liver, lean meat strips, a piece of egg flat-cake, fried shrimp cake and plums. In 1962 vendors began selling the Chishang lunchbox in wooden boxes instead of rolls wrapped in bamboo leaves. From then on, it has become famous nation-wide in Taiwan. Just about every railway passengers taking the train between Hualien and Taitung buys a Chishang lunchbox to enjoy tasty Chishang rice.
As a train nears a station, a crew of women carrying baskets offer Chishang lunchboxes to passengers and yelling, “Biandang!Biandang,” symbolizing it’s time to enjoy a Chishang lunchbox! Veteran travelers are familiar with the sound and get their money ready so they can rush out and be the first to buy a lunchbox. If you’re too slow you may miss out on the chance to try one. Just be quick! Open up the Chishang lunchbox and relax as the air fills with the fragrance of the Chishang lunchbox. There’s sausage, sliced ginger, half a stewed egg, stewed and fried pork, dried radish, some vegetables and the most important of all, Chishang Rice in the lunchbox. I bet you won’t forget the tasty meal, and you’ll miss it when you are back to your urban life. The Chishang lunchbox is a must-try delicacy when you visit Chishang orTaitung. Many restaurants sell Chishang lunchboxes all over Taiwan, but some of them do not offer authentic Chishang Rice, they choose rice from other areas in Taiwan.
The Chishang Lunchbox Museum
In 2002 the Chishang Farmer’s Association and Chishang lunchbox vendors established the Chishang Lunchbox Museum, a place which soon became a hot tourist spot in Chishang Township.
There are five different theme areas in the Chishang Lunchbox Museum including a historical and cultural area, a rice fields and farming tools area, rice cultural area as well as a Chishang lunchbox area and an old-time lunchbox area which recounts the development of the Chishang lunchbox. In addition to presenting the traditional rice cooking method for making successful lunchboxes there are also professional guides to introduce visitors to the complete historical development of Chishang Rice.
If you visit Chishang Township in east Taiwan, just stop by the Chishang Lunchbox Museum to discover more about the history of Chishang lunchboxes as well as to taste this delightful old-time lunchbox.
Cloud Gate Dance Theater honors Chishang Rice
Chishang Township, Taitung County is not only famed for producing the most expensive rice in Taiwan, it has also inspired Lin Hwai-min to create his newest work for the 40th anniversary of the Cloud Gate Dance Theater: “Rice.” Lin says he was touched by the soils, sunshine and wind as well as the water and the growth period for rice in Chishang. He says, “I appreciate the local residents of Chishang and the support and assistance they offered my crew in performing “Rice,”” said Lin. ““Rice” is a present for Chishang Township.”
Before “Rice” was staged on Bolang Avenue of Chishang Township, the Chishang Farmer’s Association released an official document asking farmers not to harvest during the group’s three-day stand. “It’s the great news for us that the Cloud Gate Dance Theater should come to Chishang to perform the show. It doesn’t matter if we halt our work for three days,” said one farmer in Chishang Township.
On November 3, 2013, the renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theater staged “Rice” among swaying rice stalks in the paddies surrounding Bolang Avenue in Chishang, bringing an unprecedented show for the people. Dancers dressed in simple and single colors – red, blue, green and purple – danced with rattan sticks to the music of Hakka folk songs, presenting beautiful scenes of power and aesthetics in the dancers’ postures and movements. First lady Chou Mei-ching (周美青) and the President of the Alliance Cultural Foundation Yen Chang-shou were also present for the ceremony. The performance inspired unforgettable memories for those who witnessed the ceremonies.
In addition to saluting the hardworking farmers, Lin says Cloud Gate Dance Theater is rooted in Taiwan and he hopes to create more artworks related to ordinary levels and pass down the cultural aesthetics, advancing the cultural industry in Taiwan.