The Taiwanese Hakka minority has a history of just around over two hundred years and they belong to the late minorities, therefore, they could only select remote mountainous areas in which to settle down. Apart from some distinctive traditional, representative dishes, many food customs and dishes were integrated with neighboring minorities and another new style of food was created. For example, the recipes of Pigeon Bean and Rib, Pumpkin Rice Cakes and Mountain Bitter Gourd in today’s Hakka dishes are the re-application of the original ingredients by the original inhabitants, including other new representative dishes created according to local conditions, such as Neiwan Ginger Lily Rice Cakes, Beipu Dried Persimmon, Chrysanthemum Tea and pastries, Wanluan Pig’s Trotters and Neipu Peanut Tofu etc. Although these numerous foods have become temporary new representative dishes or ingredients, whether they can remain distinctive for such a long time as the “four braises and four stir-fries” and pickled food, only time can tell.
The construction of food cultural content and environmental food areas is accumulated day by day. What is most important is the internal demand and spiritual meaning of the ethnic origin of food. The practical aspect at a lower level extends to the spiritual aspect at a higher level, the former such as being filling, nutritious and supplying the demands of production, and the latter such as the abstract meaning of social culture, value orientation or outlook on religion etc. In modern society where we have rich ingredients and have no concern for food and clothes, the objective of food has been raised to a higher level. The desire for good health lives on everywhere. Hakka food which always emphasizes “oily, salty, aromatic and thick” must make the appropriate adjustments. However, we do not need to worry unnecessarily, worrying about the cooking principle that abandons the heavy taste will lose the Hakka style. Actually, as long as we make good use of various unique Hakka ingredients and make different creative changes with skillful methods, it is assured that Hakka food in the new century will still have infinite potential and will not be ignored.
Taiwan society is known worldwide for the openness of its citizens. Japanese, South Korean and European food is flooding in, wave after wave.. However, people seem to forget to take their compatriots’ hands and let the cultures of various minorities know and integrate with each other. From the original inhabitants of the Hakka minority and even the Holo minority, their traditional food cultures are rapidly disappearing due to Taiwanese people forgetting and society changing. Now, it is imperative and we are duty-bound to look back, organize and record.