In these pictures you can see traditional Taiwanese double happiness cakes. Double happiness cakes are offered to relatives for weddings and engagements.
The cake on the left displays embossed Chinese characters. The Double Happiness character is the one at the top. This Double Happiness symbol is a sign of good fortune and happiness to a couple, so it is widely used for decorations for weddings.
The character below simply shows the ingredients of the cake, that are “five nuts”.
The cake on the right instead displays a red printed character with the name of the pastry. The ingredients of this cake are quite unusual.
In the photo above the Five Nuts Cake sports the yummy filling. Pine nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and egg yolk.
This type of Double Happiness cake, with a soft crust, is very common and popular among the Taiwanese. Moon-cakes can have the same kind of filling.
The cake depicted in the picture above is more strange for Western tastes. The base ingredients of the cakes are flour, eggs and sugar. But there also pork, mushrooms and beans paste. Surprise!
It is a very traditional type of Taiwanese cake – even more traditional than the Five Nuts. It is not very popular with the younger generation, older people appreciate it very much.
It tastes sweet-and-savory, not too weird actually. However, I prefer the first one, the Five Nuts.
The Double Happiness Cakes are called Xi Bing in Mandarin. In Taiwan, they are traditionally offered by the groom to the bride’s family. You can find them ready-made in the best bakeries where they can be also purchased and enjoyed as a single package. The box above costs only 300 NTD. It is a cool idea for a souvenir from Taiwan.
These two engagement cakes are squared, as typical of the southern part of Taiwan. Cakes in Northern Taiwan are smaller and round.
In fact, our cakes come from a famous bakery in Kaohsiung, which has stores island-wide, including two in Taichung. They are in Mitsukoshi Department Store and in Taichung THSR Station.
In Taiwan, as anywhere in the world, is real fun to be invited to a wedding. In case you’re invited, first of all relax! Taiwanese people are very friendly, no one expects a foreigner to know and follow the local customs, and even to bring a gift. If you still want to look great and to give face to everybody, included you, bring your Hong Bao, which is the typical red envelope containing money. Actually the amount to give as a present with the Hong Bao is just meant to cover the cost of the banquet plus a little bit more. It may range from 1600 to 2600 NTD (up to 3600 in Taipei, that is more expensive). This of course for average people weddings. Just consult first with your friends to avoid to give too much or too little. Often families decide a face-saving fixed amount of money for weddings.
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