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Friday 2 February 2018

Macao attracts gourmets with a year of wine and food celebrations

Macao's fascinating culinary traditions were recently acknowledged by the award of UNESCO Creative Cities-Gastronomy recognition.

Now a member of an elite list of 26 global cities earmarked for their cuisine, the former Portuguese enclave in China will celebrate by promoting 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy.
Among the major food-related events for the year is Macao's hosting of the prestigious Asia's 50 Best Restaurants promotion from March 25-27, complete with dining experiences, lectures, a chefs' feast and a gala awards ceremony.
Throughout the Chinese Year of the Dog, Macao will be highlighted by a congested calendar of colourful festivals and events, along with the opening of a contemporary international hotel – the 1390-room MGM Cotai.

“Being recognised by UNESCO for its gastronomy is an exciting development for Macao which has always been renowned for having one of the world's earliest forms of fusion food,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia and New Zealand).
“Over four centuries, Macao has seen the evolution of what is known as Macanese cuisine, where families have prepared home-cooked dishes, recipes with elements of Portugal, Africa, India, Malaysia and China creating a real melting pot of tastes,” she said.
“During that time, Portuguese traders brought to China capsicum, curry, shrimp paste, pickled cod fish and other spices. These ingredients were combined with the evocative flavours and aromas from south-east Asia such as cinnamon, coconut milk, tamarind, garlic and red chilies' along with the vegetables and fruit grown in the region.
“The story of Macanese cuisine is just as enticing as the taste of the food itself.”
Macao will kick off 2018 with its annual Chinese New Year celebrations, including two vibrant family street parades have been organised for the evenings of Sunday, February 18 and Saturday, February 24.
From April 27-29, it will host the sixth Macao International Travel Industry Expo (MITE) at The Venetian Macao, this year's exhibition increasing to 500 booths.
Over five Saturday evenings from September 1 until October 1, the skies over the Macau Tower will explode into a kaleidoscope of colours as countries from around the world compete in the 29th Macao International Fireworks Display Contest.
For the first time in its history, the annual contest was cancelled in 2017 after Macao was devastated by the fury of Typhoon Hato which struck in the days leading up to the event.
On September 27, Macao will celebrate World Tourism Day with an array of colourful activities while, in October, it will host the Global Tourism Economy Forum.
Giant steins will be raised throughout the same month as the MGM Macau celebrates its annual Oktoberfest with all the food and singing expected at such a German-style gathering.
More food for thought in November will be the 18th Macau Food Festival, while December will be another busy month with the hosting eighth Macau Shopping Festival, the Macao Light Festival and the third International Film Festival and Awards – Macao (IFFAM).

Despite last year's impact of Typhoon Hato, Macao boasted a record-breaking 2017, attracting more than 32.6 million visitors – an increase of 5.4% on the previous record-breaking year.

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