Dragon Boat Festival starts tomorrow, and with it (or indeed before), starts the mass consumption of zongzi (粽子; sticky-rice tamales).
Also traditional around this time are health warnings from government health departments against over-indulgence in these high-calorie, fat-and-salt laden items.
Finding non-meat versions can be quite tricky (though many vegetarian restaurants produce them at this time of year). The most famous zongzi manufacturer in northern Taiwan, the Liu Family (劉家) in Shimen District (石門) of New Taipei City, for example, has no meat-free zongzi despite producing around a dozen different flavours.
One hundred meters past Liu's there is a vegetarian outlet, however, which has been in operation for more than two decades.Previously NT$20 for each bamboo-leaf-wrapped snack, the price had risen to NT$25 by NOMM's visit last week.
To NOMM's taste, they are not that exciting (zongzi are judged by the quality of their fillings), but at least vegetarians can join in the culinary part of this weekend's activities.
Text copyright Jiyue Publications 2012
Two-thirds of 24 samples of doughnuts, fried dough sticks (油條), steamed buns (饅頭), kelp and silk noodles (粉絲) tested by the foundation in February were found to contain high levels of aluminium, which, it claimed, could affect memory.
Unlike the FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives and European Food Safety Authority both set maximum levels for such products, Taiwan has no legal limits on raising agents added to processed food, the CF said, making it difficult for consumers to know how much aluminium they have consumed.