In China red is the color of happiness and good luck, and naturally it is associated with the New Year. A popular New Year’s present is to give away red fruit and berries — red apples, grapes, strawberries. Lucky me, I got a number of boxes of bright red fruit this year. Funnily enough recent research has shown that fruit and berries with bright red colors often contain more antioxidants and thus first-class anti-cancer protection. If a billion people have been doing something for thousands of years, you can bet there is a good reason for it!
To add to our quota, we went strawberry picking today. That’s right. In the pleasantly green mountains in the Taian valley, an hour south of Hsinchu, the strawberry season has just started. We sent the kids out into the muddy fields and they returned with big smiles and a big box all filled up. They have great hiking in Taian too, hot springs, and hotels where guests wear bath robes for dinner. We’re definitely going back for more.