Some sixty years ago Taiwan was struggling to make the transition from a predominantly agrarian society to establishing viable industries, commerce and trade. People worked very hard starting small manufacturing and assembly businesses, often times in their living room with every family member pitching in. From humble beginnings some of these garage shops eventually became successful enterprises.
Even during those hard times dinner was an important event for the food-loving Chinese. Most of the time it was a simple affair of rice, tofu and vegetables with maybe an egg thrown in. Fish and sea food, the most treasured delicacies, were reserved for special holidays, such as Chinese New Year. To cheer up their simple meals, local people liked to use dishes with brightly colored patterns, that had some of their favorite foods depicted in them, such as shrimp, or a dish in the shape of a fish. It gave them hope that better, more prosperous times would come, and they did.