A large, strong-branded, everything-certified-by-the-government manufacturer of cooking oil was caught. They imported “feed grade” lard from China and Hong Kong, bought used cooking oil from restaurants, mixed in pure lard, and sold them as if everything was fresh and top-graded.
Like many parts of the world, Taiwan’s professional cooks prefer lard. It gives a strong aroma and flavor unparalleled to other cooking oil. Since the news broken, several restaurants, snack brands, or bakeries would declare themselves tinted — daily. They would automatically remove all products and apologized to their patrons. Taiwan’s food industry is in crisis. The head of the Administrative Yuan sworn to punish the perpetuator harshly. The opposition party is having a field day, accusing government bureaucrats inept.
In crisis like this, I see real ugly characters, and also true human spirits.
A customer of a bakery was angry. He demanded full refund of his prior purchases. He bought one item from the store and shoved it into the cashier’s mouth. He wanted to see her suffer as he himself did. The bullied cashier ate the biscuit, crying.
A vendor loaded a small truck with the tinted oil from the backdrop of his closed restaurant. He was going to lose lots of money: no customers will come for a while, all his materials will go bad, all those oil are now no good, and he still have to pay the rent. He was bitter and angry, but in a resigned way. “I am just so unlucky.”
A famous chef televised his apology. He knelt down in front of the camera and apologized for every eateries that he represented, or was a spokesman of. He does not want to portrait himself as a victim. “The bucks stopped here. I served the customers and I am responsible.” (I paraphrased from a TV news in Chinese.)
Yes, someone wronged you. You are upset. This is the time to show your character.