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Futang's Hundred-Year History

--- By Josie Wu Translated by Picker Chen

11, SongJiang Rd, Taipei
(02) 2523-9987, (02) 2518-3820
fax: (02) 2516-5658
Hours: 8:30 am-9 pm;
Sundays 8:30 am-12 pm
Wire account for delivery: EnTie Commercial Bank Songjiang Branch, 126012-08100, Full Futang

"Duqi" biscuits are also a good choice for afternoon tea.
Gift Sets for Moon Festival and the New Year
The Sweet Potato Cakes have natural wrinkles, thanks to a full stuffing.
Sampling of choices available.
Futang wishes all customers a happy life and good fortune.
The "Duqi" biscuit has become an all time favorite gift set for both natives and foreigners.
Using the traditional process, mini meat cakes are NT$40 each.

"Is Futang really 100 years old?" I wanted to know. "Of course!" replied the owner. "My great-grandfather started making wedding biscuits and cakes back in 1899 in Miaoli. They are a great representation of Hakka uniqueness." From the Qing Dynasty, the owner's ancestors were making biscuits and cakes, and have passed these techniques and recipes on. This history has resulted in many accumulated skills and improvements, and the entire process is now a family secret.

Observing my great curiosity, the owner pulled me down into a chair, made some tea and offered some of her cakes. Smiling, she said, "The early minced meat cakes (original/garlic flavour NT$160) was the pride of our store. The preparation involved the Hakka tradition of making 'Futsai' [fortune dishes]. Also, meat was not as easy to preserve in those days, so the pork was cut into pieces and smoked with salt and sugar. This was the ultimate traditional flavour back then!"

Other than the Traditional Biscuit and Cake series, Futang also has many specials, like the "Duqi" biscuit (NT$18/single, NT$210/dozen), named after its navel shape. It is said that during the Japanese occupation, the Japanese apprentices who worked at the Miaoli sugar factory would use local materials to make little snacks in the shape of toys because they missed home and its flavours. Although the mooncake-shaped Green Bean Pung (original or curry flavoured, NT$48), egg yolk cakes (NT$35), and pineapple cakes (NT$28) are found everywhere, the ones at Futang are unique. The Green Bean Pung is fresh, delicate, slightly sweet and not heavy, while the pineapple cakes use fresh pineapple ground into slightly pulpy paste. Another new seasonal speciality is the sweet potato cakes (NT$25), made from wild-grown sweet potatoes that are naturally sweet and don't require added sugar. These are definitely tasty.
Combining innovation, creativity and tradition, Futang has eliminated early, normal cake problems with sweetness and heaviness of flavour. The resulting snacks make great party foods.

So more can enjoy these traditional cakes and biscuits, the owner and his wife expanded out of Miaoli and into Taipei. In just a few months, their reputation has soared. Many tourists make special trips to buy their cakes. The shop has special delivery services to the HsiaTa Hotel for orders over NT$1,500.
If you miss good, old traditional snacks, a trip to Futang will take your taste buds on a pleasing journey back in time.