(Photo credit: Taoyuan City Government)
There is a saying that “If you have not eaten Xinwu goose meat, you have not been to Xinwu.” On weekends, goose meat restaurants in Taoyuan’s Xinwu District are packed with customers, almost all there for the delicious taste of Xinwu goose meat. At the restaurants, as the chefs quickly chop up the boiled whole fatty geese into small pieces, the gravy of the geese continuously oozes out; there’s no need to add extra seasoning, just a touch of the Hakka bean paste, and the fresh taste of the goose immediately fills the diner’s mouth. This Hakka bean paste is the most popular dip for boiled goose meat and this delicious dish has brought prosperity to Xinwu for the past 40 years.
Xinwu is located in the
southwest of Taoyuan City. Most of the villagers here operate farms, producing many
kinds of agricultural products. In
addition to rice and vegetables, farmers also grow flowers, melons and fruits,
each with their own characteristics. Xinwu’s waterfowl breeding industry is an
industry of potentially high economic value. With an annual output of 30,000
meat geese, the industry is quite developed.
Chen Zhu-mei, who won the Shen-Nong Prize in 2013 for breeding the mixed breed goose, comes from a humble
background. In order to help his mother raise six brothers and sisters after his father passed
away when he was a child, and facing the crisis of over-supply of farm produce in Taiwan in the
1960s, he turned from planting rice to raising geese, cross-breeding geese, and
breeding mixed-breed geese. He not only produced geese on his own but sold them
by himself. He also opened a restaurant on an inconspicuous country road. He
insisted on his business philosophy of "from farm to table," which has been well received.
Chen Zhu-mei was an important promoter of Xinwu goose. He said when he first started raising geese,
he was only doing it as a side job, while tilling the fields. In 1979, he became serious by starting with 00
geese. As the number of restaurants increased, he became the biggest supplier
of Xinwu geese. It was then that the Xinwu goose meat industry began to flourish.