Monday, May 28, 2007
My favorite type of movies have to be asian independent/foreign films. And I owe it to my dad for getting me so into it. On my Netflix queue, I'd say 30% of my queue is foreign. America is very sensitive and there are just way too many topics that would get the MPAA hot and bothered. Especially Asian horror. That's why there's the foreign section in any movie store - it's for you to get a glimpse of something unfamiliar and untainted. Anyway, as a kid, my dad would take me to the old Garfield Theatre on Valley/Garfield - where Kang Kang Food Court and Crepe In The Grip now exist. But besides watching Asian cinema, which during that time – hailed some bad film making, I was more interested in the snack bar. And it wasn't your typical snack bar. No popcorn, no nachos or Milk Duds. They offered stuff like dried cuttlefish, fruit-flavored and curry-flavored beef jerky, White Rabbit candy, dried prunes in those plastic heart-shaped containers, haw flakes, and canned grass jelly. Oh pure FOB joy. It's not like I couldn't get those at the local Chinese market - it was just special to eat pungent food in a theatre with other people eating pungent food. Just like the fresh smell of canned butter. Mmm.
But things may have been different in theatres if they had offered... Durian Candy! What is durian? It's a spiky fruit that is known for it's sweet yet pungent odor. I didn't like the stuff growing up as my relatives would try to foie gras that sh*t into my body. Garfield Theatre is no longer in commission and I could imagine a conversation with the manager sounding like this, if they had sold this particular stinkbomb candy.
"Yeah, we're shutting down the place in about a few weeks. Ticket sales have been plummeting. I'm sad. Oh, and by the way, you have to try our new durian candy at the concession stand - it's great! I know Chinese love it!"
This weekend I was in Chinatown eating lunch with J and her mom at Mien Nghia. Afterwards we headed to the Wing Hop Fung emporium to find medicine and I stumpled upon this! If I see something that even looks remotely bizarre, I immediately think about about my friend Eddie of Deep End Dining and Steve of Steve Don't Eat It! Hey, have to try all the food I can before I die.
There are some bad girls out there, but the clever, snide ones, put on the innocent look. This candy is no different. She looks like a caramel, but inside is a spiky bomb waiting to detonate. Made with durian powder, malt, sugar and coconut milk this has the light odor of durian. It's encased in wax for easy wrapper removal. *Pop* Ok, hmm... no initial taste. About 5 seconds into it, I started to taste the durian-ness. Then the taste of coconut milk which steadily balanced out the durian powder. Hmm! I like it! For the whole 5 minutes it took to eat the candy, it kept me amused - not like gum which loses it's flavor after about 15 seconds. If you're into bizarre candy - try this too! I like these a lot... Gengkis Khan Caramels!
Wing Hop Fung Emporium
727 N. Broadway Suite #102
Los Angeles, CA 90012