Because of differences in climate, agriculture, lifestyle and customs, there are different kinds of cuisine in different regions of China and quite different culinary cultures. To promote Chinese food internationally, this Directorate is issuing a set of eight stamps, featuring eight great Chinese regional cuisines. All will have denominations of NT$5.00 and be released on August 20, 1999. The Directorate asked some master chefs who work for five-star tourist hotels to cook eight famous dishes. Mr. Lee Kuang-chi then made paintings of them for stamps that were printed by China Color Printing Co., Inc. in color deep-etch offset.
Descriptions of the eight stamps and the regional cuisines they depict follow:
1. Taiwan cuisine:
Taiwan cuisine is an off-shoot of Fukien cuisine. Soups abound in Taiwan cuisine. Influenced by Dutch and Japanese food, it incorporates many raw and lightly boiled foods. The stamp features the dish "Peony Lobster."
2. Fukien cuisine:
Fukien cuisine puts its stress on seafood. Its steamed seafood is out of the world. The taste of Fukien cuisine is mainly light, sour and sweet. Clear soups are regarded as representative of Fukien cuisine, and the stamp features one "Buddha Jumps the Wall."
Canton has long been a hub of international trade, and its cooking has absorbed the strong points of many different places. The taste is light, fresh, aromatic, sweet, refreshing and tender. The stamp features "Hors d'oeuvres Cantonese."
4. Kiangsu and Chekiang cuisine:
This cuisine puts an emphasis on soup broths and heat control. The taste is light but not flat, with thoroughly cooked tender meat that nonetheless holds together and does not lose its original flavors. The stamp features "Dongpo Pork."
5. Shanghai cuisine
This is the most cosmopolitan of all Chinese regional cuisines. Shanghai cuisine uses large amounts of oil and sauce. The flavors of its sauces are rich, and the color of its dishes dark and shiny. The stamp features "Stewed Fish Jaws."
6. Hunan cuisine:
Hunan cuisine tends toward the sour, the spicy and the rich. It uses a lot of oil, and corn starch is often used to thicken soups or sauces. It makes ample use of smoked meats. The cuisine has strong local flavor. The stamp features "Beggar's Chicken."
7. Szechwan cuisine:
Vegetables take precedence to meat and fish, and the seasoning it uses is unique-spicy and funky, with lots of Szechwan peppers, hot red oil sauce, dried chili peppers. It's favored by people who have strong tastes. The stamp features "Carp Jumping over the Dragon's Gate."
8. Peking cuisine:
Peking was capital during the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Ching dynasties. Great chefs from all over China gathered there during this time, and their mutual interaction resulted in what is known today as Peking cuisine. At once elegant, graceful and regal, it stresses color coordination, shape, taste and nutrition. The stamp features "Peking Duck."
(1)First Day Cover in small size to be sold at NT$1.00 apiece.
First Day Cover in large size to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece.
(2)Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$6.00 apiece.
(3)Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.
(4)Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$16.00 apiece.
(5)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low-valued stamp to be sold at NT$6.00 apiece.
(6)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$42.00 apiece.
(7)Pictorial to be sold at NT$260.0 apiece and total 30,000 copies to be issued. This Directorate will offer the public a discount project with 10% off for 10 copies, 15% off for 100 copies and 20% off for over 500 copies each purchase.
This pictorial, delicately planned by Miss Daphne Cherng, consisted of one set with eight stamps of "Chinese Gourmet Food Postage Stamps", one pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps and 8 pieces of color postal cards, which can be torn apart for mailing. Chinese and English interpretations with relative photographs will be used to describe the history, local flavors, heritage and culinary art of the subject style of the gourmet food, which combines with both literal readability and practical use at one place. It gives an opportunity for the stamp collectors to appreciate the delicate Chinese gourmet food culture. This item is certainly suitable for both gifts and collectibles.