The Four Taro Brothers of Jiasian／甲仙芋頭四兄弟 芋餅香誘人
The Four Taro Brothers of Jiasian
◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi
Jiasian is famous for its agricultural products and taros are top of the list. The Jiasian taro has a silky texture that remains springy after it's cooked. Its delicate fragrance has a lingering effect that is best savored slowly. Many bakeries in Jiasian have developed various taro pastries which the people have come to love. In 2013, four bakeries came together to create the "Four Taro Brothers of Jiasian" gift set. Each bakery combined its best quality taro and top-notch pastries, to contribute to a collaborative product. It has certainly become one of the most popular products in the area.
The "Four Taro Brothers of Jiasian" includes the Walnut White Jade Taro Puff from "Tongshuai", the Egg Taro Puff from "Sanguanwang", the Original Pure Taro Puff from "Taro King" and the Whole Wheat Mochi Taro Puff from "Diyijia". All four agreed to make the pastries with recipes and methods that had been passed down by their fathers and grandfathers. They could only use natural ingredients and the highest grade taro. No additives such as coloring and flavoring agents could be included in the recipe. The pastries were filed with pure diced taro, cooked in a double boiler and enhanced only with sugar. The four bakeries were dedicated to providing their customers with the finest quality taro products.
Each of the four pastries has their own charm. The Walnut White Jade Taro Puff features a creamy taro and walnut filling. The walnuts release fragrant oils, with the flavors integrating and complimenting each other. The Egg Taro Puff and the Original Pure Taro Puff are both traditional flavors. The filling is made from salt cured duck egg yolk and combined within the taro filling. Generations of patrons have enjoyed the delicious combination of the salty egg yolk with the sweet taro filling. The Original Pure Taro is made solely of taro and does not need any additional embellishments. Lastly, the Whole Wheat Mochi Taro Puff is made of a whole wheat flour shell, with mocha in the center.
Once customers sample the "Four Taro Brothers of Jiasian", they get hooked and highly recommend the delicious pastries. Profits have been significant and are being reinvested in building partnerships with contracted taro farmers and sponsorships for school events schools such as Jiasian Elementary and Jiasian Junior High.
Mr. Chen Jhing-jhong, owner of Tongshuai Taro Ice, decided against centralizing his kitchen because of the many older employees that work in his bakery. He realizes the bakery is not just responsible for the livelihood of his family but also for those who work for him. In order to maintain a long tradition, does not only mean maintaining the flavors, but also assisting with the welfare of the neighborhood.
The business was originally located at the entrance of the Nanheng Route, however when the route was undergoing reparations, the business suffered a setback. However, the "Four Taro Brothers of Jiasian" were able to turn around the sluggish sales. Now, people not only come to see the area but also to purchase the products. This has enabled local businesses to develop better products and revitalize the local economy. Who would have imagined this little taro pastries were to become the hero in revitalizing local business!
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