Sausage. It is serious business in Taiwan

This is Fengjia aka Feng Chia night market at Taichung, a night market made popular by the many food/drink stands and Feng Chia University.

feng-jia-university

If you look carefully at the center of the photo you will find the university’s monument. Students here are a lucky bunch to have a big night market at their university’s doorstep easily reachable on foot. Because the night market is frequented by so many people from students to visitors and tourists, competition is fierce. Already famous and established food stalls are facing a problem. Not only their recipes are being copied, their authenticity is being challenged as well.

da-chang-bao-xiao-chang

An example would be these two stalls selling 大腸包小腸 – ‘big sausage wrap small sausage’. They are located directly opposite each other along the main entrance to the night market. The stall on the left is called 官芝霖 (Guan Zhi Lin) and the right one is 百膳工房 (Bai Shan Gong Fang).

guan-zhi-lin

Guan Zhi Lin (the good guy) claims itself to be the originator of the famous sausage snack and they used to setup their stall across the road, for what reasons I don’t know. After moving to the current location, a peer took over the old spot and started to claim themselves as the founders/originators instead. You should know by now the peer is none other than Bai Shan (the bad guy, supposingly).
Worse still, Bai Shan tried to attract the customers by misleading them to their own stall, saying that they are owned by the same owner. When that didn’t work, they placed large signboards to cover Guan Zhi Lin’s stall so it couldn’t be seen from the road. Then they used another signboard to ‘cut’ through Guan Zhi Lin’s long queue of customers and redirect them to their stall forcefully. All this was shown in a video recorded secretly by customers, which was played repeatedly on a large LCD TV in front of Guan Zhi Lin.

strong-objection

Besides blocking customers, Bai Shan is also said to have bribed a famous local food related TV show to delete the segment in which Guan Zhi Lin was featured. This resulted in Bai Shan being interviewed instead and featured nationwide, ultimately making them as famous. To spread this awareness to the customers, Guan Zhi Lin placed a signboard above their stall expressing their strong objection towards the competitor’s tactics. If you cannot read Chinese, this is the translation of the first paragraph (roughly):

Famous XX Food and Lifestyle Show is not fair, not righteous, not trustworthy, accepted Bai Shan XX’s NT$80,000 bribe, to remove Guan Zhi Lin’s interview dated R.O.C.93.06.10, replacing it with Bai Shan XX bought interview, which disappointed the entire nation’s consumer who have been loyal to the show all these years. Besides, there are many more peers employing similar dirty business tactics, to know more about this please read Guan Zhi Lin’s blog at Yahoo!Kimo.

Sausage in Taiwan, serious business indeed.

guan-zhi-lin-second-shop

Because the queue is painfully long, Guan Zhi Lin has setup a second stall not too far away to reduce the waiting time. The signboard I mentioned earlier that was used to ‘block’ customers looked exactly like this in the photo (on the right) Big right, lol.

competitor-shop

At first we were queuing at Bai Shan. But while waiting we saw the video being played on the TV at Guan Zhi Lin. Only at that time we realized that we were in the wrong queue lol. We decided to join the queue for Guan Zhi Lin’s sausage instead, since they are the originator. See how Bai Shan labeled themselves as the 创始店 (founding stall) Really lol material.

sausage-shop

After a painful 30 minutes’ wait it was our turn. That was also the longest time we spent waiting for food in Taiwan’s night market.

sausage-preparation

The ingredients sandwiched between the big and small sausage were pickled ginger slices and cucumber.

feng-jia-sausage-stall

Then the appropriate sauces would be applied on the sausage according to the flavor you requested. Some flavors available were original, black pepper, spicy, wasabi and garlic. The way they packaged the sausage is pretty interesting.. the bottom part of the paper wrapping is tightened by twisting them up.

big-sausage-wrap-small-saus

So this is the much awaited ‘big sausage wrap small sausage’ @ NT$40, with the big sausage actually being glutinous rice shaped in a bun to contain the small sausage. Whenever you have finished the top part of the sausage, just twist the wrapping at the bottom and the remaining sausage would be ‘pushed’ up further. No mess at all.
But taste wise I would say it was nothing spectacular to me.. I was pretty disappointed actually considering all the hoo haa and competition surrounding it. Why fight over a food that is sooooo normal tasting? I dunno lol. It’s quite funny actually.
And this prompted me to wonder if there’s any competition between restaurants/stalls so fierce like this happening in Malaysia…

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15 thoughts on “Sausage. It is serious business in Taiwan”

  1. There is two shop (Putrajaya – Near the Clinic) which I like to visit while having friends, since I knew the two mamak shop literally goes up to you right after you get out of your parking spot, and asks what you want to eat, then if the competitor arrives, he will say mine is nicer etc while smiling at his competitor. The thing I like to play on my friend is to ask them walk infront so that when the waiters comes, my friends will panic for a moment. Either way it was fun to watch them chasing after customer.

    And if I’m not mistaken, near Low Yat and Sungai Wang there is two chinese shops also battles for customers, but they give out a very unpleasent aura, very hostile.

    I like the sausage wrapping, especially when you don’t have to dirty your hand to finish it. Imagine walking around with dirty hands, you can wipe with tissue, but still preffer to wash with water. Hehe

  2. Wah, the sausage looks really nice. I always like Taiwanese Sausage, they have a very different taste. Yummy! Wish can visit Taiwan soon. Both your post and kampungboycitygal post on Taiwan delicacies is making me hungry dy….and I have just ate dinner somemore.

  3. It seems like you are adding some lulz into this post with “i dunno lol”, “Sausage in Taiwan, serious business indeed”.. >.<
    Anyway..The sausage look really droolicious though.. It tasted really that bland or you are one picky eater?

  4. hahaha ……..
    i’ve tasted the one at Fong Lye and came out disappointed.
    nothing major. but expecting the one from the original source (Taiwan’s) to be much better though …..

  5. Sausage!!! yum…i dunno why, i just love sosejes..
    yea, i think i gonna get some glutinous rice and see if i can make a bigger sosej to wrap my smaller one.

    hehehehee

  6. “And this prompted me to wonder if there’s any competition between restaurants/stalls so fierce like this happening in Malaysia…”

    Got! remember paandi vs paandi? lol

  7. I heard from a friend’s gf (a Taiwanese) that Taiwanese Sausage use field rats (‘tian shu’) as additional ingredients. But not sure true or not. :)

  8. Hi, I’m a foreign student studying in Feng Jia University. And yes, people do line up for the sausages at those two stalls, lines are especially long during weekends and holidays. Since I’m a SEA girl, I find Taiwanese food a bit bland too, but that’s because they tend to be more “health conscious”. What I highly recommend in FCU night market are the takoyaki balls章魚燒, the pepper biscuits 胡椒餅, 滷味 (but you have to know which stalls to choose), the fresh fruit shakes, and the grilled corn on the cob (but this might be expensive when compared to Malaysia).

  9. By the way, if you really want a good sausage – find 黑橋牌 (Black Bridge Brand) sausages either in their stand-alone shops or in the supermarkets. Even my Hongkie bf loves it!  

  10. try Hamton Premium Pork Sausages from the Philippines. recipe was developed by an overseas Chinese who studied and worked a few years in Taiwan some 20 or so years ago. the word is that he learned it from a butcher who had once worked for Black Bridge

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