Despite the threat of spreading the global pandemic, Taiwan still ranks number 1 in 2021 as the world's most-searched tourist attraction. Agoda, one of the world’s most well-known digital travel platforms, announced its top 10 most-searched tourist attractions in early 2021, and Taiwan ranked first in the world! Why does Taiwan attract so many tourists? In addition to its beautiful scenery, Taiwan’s local snacks
and delicacies are a key reason for this.
Speaking of Taiwanese local snacks
and desserts, the most famous one is Shaqima
(also known as “Sachima”, or Sachima cake, or “Sa qi ma”), which is a sweet square-like dessert that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. "ChingTse”, a 20-year-old Taiwanese snack manufacturing brand produces more than 1000 packages per day due to the ever-growing demand.
Sachima is a sweet Chinese snack that looks much like the American Rice Krispie treats, and is at times called Chinese Rice Krispies though isn’t made with rice puffs like the American Rice Krispies. It is made of fluffy strands of deep-fried egg noodles, batter bound together with molten sugar syrup. The bound egg noodles are then pressed into a square pan and then cut into square shapes when dry. With this stiff sugar coating, Sachima is also called “caramelized egg fritters.”
While most Sachima in the market is soft and easy to stick to teeth, ChangTse’s non-sticky Sachima overwhelmed the market when it was first launched since it improved the annoying stickiness of traditional Sachima cakes. Emphasis is placed on flavor and crispiness, creating this sweet tasty snack. To make the "crispy" part just right, ChangTse carefully measures the ratio of eggs and maltose sugar, calculating the exact cooling time to make the dessert’s surface non-sticky. It also practices the art of layering to make the crispy texture taste like layers of potato chips.
The size and shape of ChangTse Sachima are praise-worthy. ChangTse has transformed the traditional long square Sachima into small yellow cubes. Each small and cute gold-brick-like cube is about one or two bites in size. It is very suitable for a small serving and is much favored by children.
In terms of flavors, it has 11 flavors to choose from: Original/ Brown Sugar/ Seaweed/ Dried Scallion/ Garlic/ Cheese/ Korean Kimchi/ Chinese Red Oolong /Spicy New Orleans, etc. Each flavor is the result of many experiments and testing. From the ingredients, shelf life, taste, and flavor, all aspects have to be tested severally before launching to the market. In ChingTse, quality control lies not only in taste but also in food safety. Its food safety requirements are so strict that all raw materials must be inspected for several bacteria such as Escherichia coli and staphylococci. Its nutrition labeling must clearly show as many details as possible (manufacturing process, packaging materials, hygiene, and other details).
Situated in Tatung County, most of ChingTse’s raw materials do come from Tatung’s agricultural land. Located in the southeast of Taiwan, Taitung is the most conducive area for agricultural production in eastern Taiwan. With a superior geographical environment and suitable climate, Taitung has a reputation for Taiwan’s “purest” water sources and fertile soil. Farmers in Taitung work extremely hard and with diligence to produce high-quality crops.
ChangTse carefully selects its raw materials from well-known local producers such as:
- Nanhui red quinoa produced by "Mr. Hongli",
- Red Oolong Tea from "Yongan Tea Garden" in Luye,
- Local pineapples bred by small farmers in the Rift Valley,
Not only does ChingTse pay attention to food quality and safety but also makes packaging convenient for easy storage. Each cube of ChangTse Sachima is wrapped independently for convenient storage, and the package can be opened and stored according to various situations. A must-have for friends gathering, relaxing at home, watching TV and chatting with family members. When I was in the office, I bought a group purchase with my colleagues and friends during the New Year’s gathering and the packaging design was very convenient and satisfying.
The careful and creative spirit of ChangTse’s snacks
had made its place in the Most-liked Souvenirs Shops Award in 2016, 2017 to 2021 (5 consecutive years). ChangTse Sachima is a must-buy souvenir recommended by all tourists and locals.