Interview with TTL * Product Samples from TTL (1 of 2) * Product Samples from TTL (2 of 2) * TTL Hua-Diao Dongpo Braised Pork Instant Noodle * TTL Sesame Oil Chicken Flavor With Rice Wine Instant Noodle * TTL Bolognese Red Wine Sauce Instant Noodle * TTL Spring Chicken With Hua-Diao Liquor Instant Noodle * TTL Hua Diao Pickled Vegetable Beef Instant Noodle * TTL Carbonara White Wine Carbonara Instant Noodle * TTL Spring Chicken With Hua-Diao Liquor Instant Noodle * TTL Sesame Oil Chicken Flavor With Rice Wine Instant Noodle * TTL Pickled Vegetable Beef With Hua-Diao Liquor Instant Noodle
In November of 2017, I met a fellow named Cy Ben at the Taiwan International Food Expo from TTL. I was a big fan of their products – they include sachets of alcohol and this was a first for me. Not only that, they contain retort pouches with real meats. I was very interested in trying new varieties as well as doing a Meet The Manufacturer series. After some time and many conversations, samples were sent and we begin the series today, about a year later! Let’s begin with an interview with Ms. Cherry Hseih, Division of Liquor/Production Management Division/Section Manager of Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of TTL?
TTL> The monopoly business in Taiwan was started during the time of the Japanese occupation. The Taiwan Governor’s Office expanded its range of items and in 1901 established the “Monopoly Bureau of the Taiwan Governor’s Office”. Then in 1905 and 1922 the Taiwan Governor’s Office took over tobacco and liquor business. Therefore the monopolized goods before the retrocession of Taiwan were: cigarettes, liquor, opium, salt, camphor, matches, petroleum and the standardization of weights and measures.
After the retrocession of Taiwan in 1945, the Taiwan Government Executive Administration Office continued the monopoly system by establishing the “Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau”. In 1947 the Taiwan Provincial Government brought the Bureau directly under its authority by a re-organization which formed the “Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Bureau”. At this time, the number of monopolized items was reduced to three: tobacco, liquor and camphor. In 1951 the Bureau was put under the supervision of the Finance Department of the Taiwan Provincial Government. In1968 after the ending of camphor monopoly, the monopoly range of the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau was reduced to only tobacco and liquor.
The Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau was an agency which handled the production, delivery, and sales of tobacco and liquor products. It was responsible for mass production of sufficient supplies of tobacco and liquor to satisfy the public demand, and also the implementation of the tobacco and liquor Monopoly Regulations. The agencies under its jurisdiction included tobacco and liquor distribution units and permitted retailers spread throughout Taiwan, which became a strong, extensive sales network. The monopoly profits from tobacco and liquor sales were submitted to the national Treasury, and fulfilled their economic and financial goals. The operations of the Bureau were very profitable, and the profits provided to the Treasury accounted for a large portion of the tax revenue of Taiwan.
The Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau was reformed since July 1, 1999 and under the Ministry of Finance continued the management of production and sales of tobacco and liquor. In preparation for internationalization and liberalization, the government intended to abolish the monopoly system and free tobacco and liquor production. Accordingly, the “Tobacco and Liquor Management Law” and the “Tobacco and Liquor Tax Law” were enacted. The two laws took effect on January 1, 2002. Since then the monopoly system was eliminated and the free production of tobacco and liquor began.
The ” Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation Regulations ” were passed by the Legislative Yuan on April 25, 2002 and became law by presidential decree on May 15, 2002. The name of the Bureau was subsequently changed to the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation on July 1, 2002.
TRR> Why combine instant noodles and alcohol?
TTL> The company is a professional wine company, and wine has always been part of the oriental culture. Wine and fragrant dishes are the eastern and western food and cooking techniques, while instant noodles are modern conveniences. The company will follow the ancient method with innovative concepts. The Huadiao wine and rice wine, together with the Q-shaped noodles, the rich soup head and the meat block conditioning package, enable busy modern consumers to enjoy instant and delicious instant noodles at any time and any place.
TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?
TTL> Now our product line contains “Chicken noodle Sesame oil flavored with rice liquor (red label), Chicken noodle flavored with Hwa-Diou liquor, Beef noodle flavored with Hwa-Diou liquor and Taiwanese mustard, Dong-po pork noodle flavored with Hwa-Diou liquor, Taiwan pasta-Red wine type, and Taiwan pasta- White wine type, and so on.
TRR> Your company is located in the Taiwan. Can you tell us a little about your locale?
TTL> Taiwanese people are very kindness and inclusive with various things. Taiwanese cuisine is also very famous, such as traditional Taiwanese food, night market snacks, dumplings, clams, pineapple cakes, Tai-yan cakes, etc.
TRR> How does process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?
TTL> Our product line of instant noodle are contain with well cook meat pair with selective wine in a food pack. The wines we used is top-quality, well-aging, high cost, and very suitable with instant noodles. Give unique taste and aroma to all of them.
TRR> Do you make your own pastes, sauces and seasonings?
TTL> At present, the company is still developing and adjusting the flavor with the instant noodle manufacturer. After many research and development evaluations, the flavor and taste are determined before release.
TRR> How do you decide on what varieties to produce?
TTL> To realize the trend of market and preferences to the consumer, we need to combine our strengths , characteristics, and keep trying any possibility to improve. Whole instant noodles product line have undergone many evaluations before going public. Until it is well-confirmed with its unique flavor and selling potential then we decided to release.
TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?
TTL> Our productivity raised year by year. About 1.5 million boxes in 2016 and 2 million. The company’s instant noodle series products sold more than 2 million boxes.
TRR> Apart from noodles, are there other products you produce or plan to produce?
TTL> The company has a variety of non-alcoholic foods including biscuits, beverages, meat processed products and biotechnology products such as beauty, health care, cleaning, etc., all categories have new product development and listing at any time.
TRR> Can you suggest pairings for your products, like meats, seafood or vegetables?
TTL> Chinese cabbage and eggs are the best partner for instant noodles. Shrimp and clams also be added to improve seafood flavor and fresher taste. In addition, sesame oil chicken noodles are very suitable for adding a lot of cabbage, which will make the taste definitely richer.
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?
TTL> It is recommended to adjust the amount of seasoning bag according to your taste, or add a little more water, vegetables, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, which is actually a very healthy meal.
TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?
TTL> The company invested nearly 10 million Taiwan dollars in social welfare in 2017, including local community connections, care for the weak, education and culture, sports and health and other related fields.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
TTL> In some cases, the company continued its innovative thinking of wine and vegetables. On November 1st this year, it launched a spicy but not dry spicy noodles, which was developed with the company’s traditionally brewed Yushan Maotai. The new product “Taiwanese spicy wine fragrant porridge noodles”.
TRR> In what countries are your products available?
TTL> It is sold in Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and other places.
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?
TTL> When I eat the noodles of the Huadiao wine flavor series like Huadiao chicken, Huacai sauerkraut beef, Huadiao Dongpo meat noodles, I will add more Huadiao wine or Shaoxing wine to make the whole bowl of the wine more rich and delicious. Very recommended for everyone to try.
TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about TTL and your products!
Thank you to Cherry, Elaine and Cy Ben for making this series happen! Let’s try some noodles!