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Origin

        Turkey rice, a must-eat cuisine in Chiayi, can be traced back to 60 years ago, and it symbolizes the time of hardship in Taiwan. People then were able to eat turkey or chicken only during special days due to the poor living conditions. Nowadays, however, turkey rice has become an everyday cuisine Chiayi citizens enjoy for their whole lives. Hundreds of turkey rice shops are located in the small Chiayi City, and one can be seen even in the alley. Sliced or shredded turkey and the hot good-smelling rice seasoned with fried garlic, chicken fat, soy sauce, and cured radish make chewy delicious turkey rice. Serves of turkey rice satisfy our stomachs and mellow our tastes.

        There are several sayings of how turkey rice was firstly made. One of them has it that turkey was imported during the period of Taiwan garrisoned by American forces and then soon became a local food ingredient. Another has it that once a shop laid turkey meat on the rice for stewed pork and then accidentally created this scrumptious turkey rice.

        “Chiayi City Documents” writes turkey rice is the most famous cuisine of Chiayi City and numerous brands claim that they are from Chiayi City. Spraying Water Chicken Rice Restaurant, an old restaurant located next to Central Fountain, has started its business since 1949 and. It got popular with its promising price and motivated people in Chiayi to sell turkey rice.

        This everyday cuisine doesn’t cost much. Not only is it a cuisine people from Chiayi miss the most after leaving their hometown, but one of the must-try foods when people visit Chiayi.

2014 Biggest Turkey Rice in Chiayi, Weighing 922KG and Set a Guinness World Record

        The biggest turkey rice which set the Guinness World Record was made. At 3 P.M. on December 13 in 2014, Chiayi City Mayor Huang Ming-hui, Guinness World Record Adjudicator John Gardland, Professor Huang Jing-yuan, Professor Qiu Zhi-ying, and crowds of people gathered at Tsulo Impression Square of Wenhua Park and held the breaths to witness the number shown on the scale. Once the adjudicator announced the weight of 922kg, which was much more than the estimated 700kg, crowds flocked to the front in order to take pictures of it and lined up for having a taste of the turkey rice.

        “One has never been to Chiayi without having a try on turkey rice.” Turkey rice is a local cuisine of Chiayi. Not only has it the scrumptious flavor or making steps with heart, but it costs you simply a few coins. In 2013, turkey rice of Chiayi won the championship for top 10 rice cuisines held by Council of Agriculture. In 2014, turkey rice of Chiayi set another milestone of the world by making the biggest turkey rice on Guinness World Records.

        As John Gardland, the adjudicator of Guinness World Records from the UK, pointed out, to set a Guinness World Record has to meet several requirements: making at the scene, safe and clean, edible as general turkey rice, and within one single container. He had participated in the process of turkey being cooked, iced, and sliced since 9P.M. the previous night. He kept giving praises to the turkey rice after the first try on it.

        Unionrice Co. donated 600kg of rice and Spraying Water Chicken Rice Restaurant offered 16 turkeys weighing 20kg, 30kg of fried garlic, and 400kg of the special sauce for the challenge of the biggest turkey rice in the world. It was estimated that 200 thousand dollars was expended for the ingredients.

        There were 10 people contributing their works for the challenge. They started to handle and cook the turkeys at 9P.M. the previous night until 6A.M. the next morning. Afterwards, 15 giant rice cookers were built at 10 for dealing with the rice, and meat as well as the fried garlic was added on top of the hot rice in the afternoon. The delicious turkey rice and juicy meat people lined up for were all well-prepared and able to compete with the turkey rice made by a general restaurant.