Taiwanese Adventure: Two Red Boxes

We left the wedding with two red boxes, curious to see what was in them.

Much to my surprise, they contained even more food!

The big red box contained a variety of cookies, which I later learned are selected by the bride’s family and provided by the groom’s family.

Aditionally, I learned that when the groom, the six cars, and the boombox show up at the bride’s house to ask for her hand, he will traditionally bring a negotiatior to act as a mediator when the family discusses wedding expense, including these tasty cookies.

As the cookies were individually wrapped, we’ve been enjoying them since we left Taipei.

Actually, mostly I’ve been enjoying them since we left Taipei, having made my way through the whole upper tray. (I should have taken a picture before!)
Some have had an alcohol flavor, others have been a bit more like tea biscuits only thinner, but the ones that have really stood out were the green tea flavored ones.

The smaller red box contained a wedding cake. (I had failed to notice the absence of wedding cake at the reception, likely because of the twelve courses that were consumed.)

The wedding cake, on the other hand, had a shelf life of about a week, and needed to be consumed. The bride described the cake to me, including a mention of it containing red beans. My husband isn’t much a fan of the beans + pastry= dessert idea, I decided to bring it into the office to share.

Shortly after lunch, I sliced it up and distributed it around my group. I mentioned that the cake contained beans, to ensure no one was surprised. While slicing up the last pieces, I heard a colleague ask:

“um, Franc, is there meat in this?”

In fact, yes. The cake contains a dried shredded pork. This was included in the description I had received from the bride, but I had completely forgotten. Oops.
So, the meat is a bit savory, the beans are a little sweet, and the outside tastes a lot like sesame seeds, as one might expect from giving this cake a look.

I think of everyone who tried it, I liked it the most. I think overcoming the idea that a dessert would contain pork was a bit of a stretch for some. For the next hour or two, I’d occasionally get a whiff of the remains of the meaty cake sitting near my desk and just giggle.


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