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Taiwan's president welcomes US delegation to ‘culinary paradise’ with snacks

US delegation treated with selection of traditional snacks upon arrival

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President Tsai Ing-wen shares a photo of a gua bao and red bean soup she prepared for the U.S. delegation. (Facebook, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

President Tsai Ing-wen shares a photo of a gua bao and red bean soup she prepared for the U.S. delegation. (Facebook, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. delegation that arrived in Taiwan on Thursday evening (April 14) received traditional snacks from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as a welcoming gift.

Tsai announced the arrival of the delegation led by Senator Lindsey Graham and her pending meeting with the guests in a Facebook post, expressing her “excitement” to meet “Taiwan’s democratic friends.”

She shared a photo of a gua bao (or a pork belly bun) and a bowl of red bean soup with a card reading, “Welcome to the culinary paradise of Taiwan!” As a vegetarian option, Tsai wrote that she had also prepared hot mochi and snow fungus lotus seed soup.

“Aside from being bipartisan, this delegation also includes members from both the Senate and House of Representatives, not only showing that there is a bipartisan recognition of worth and support for Taiwan, but also that the Taiwan-U.S. relationship is as solid as rock,” Tsai added.

The gua bao, known also as the Taiwanese hamburger or “tiger biting pig” due to its appearance, traditionally consists of a folded bun containing a slice of braised pork belly, picked mustard greens, cilantro, and ground peanuts. The dish signifies “making a fortune” due to its shape resembling a filled coin purse and “biting down on luck” as the phrase’s pronunciation is akin to “tiger biting pig.”

Meanwhile, the snow fungus lotus seed soup is known to be a healthy type of sweet soup served both hot and cold. Snow fungus is high in dietary fiber and polycarbohydrates, while lotus seed contains abundant protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Taiwan's president welcomes US delegation to ‘culinary paradise’ with snacks
(Facebook, Tsai Ing-wen photo)