Monday, May 28, 2007

Durian Candy... Only A Matter of Time

Durian Candy

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.

Durian Candy

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
(213) 626-7200

26 comments:

Christine D. said...

Ew...durian. My grandma always shoves that shit into my face whenever she cracks one open. I like the smell better than the taste, but this candy looks like a good stepping stone for me.

Haha, a durian-flavored YULE LOG? (wikipedia link).

Anonymous said...

I bought some durian candy in chinatown once. It tasted like sweet propane. It also made it smell like there was a gas leak in the house.

j! said...

I totally remember that theater on Garfield. My dad used to work the projector in a Chinese theater on Las Tunas near the hospital, and another one in Chinatown. You totally described the food you'd find over in the consession stand. Don't forget the sweet/spicy/sticky jerky. I love that the most.

And speaking of White Rabbit candy... have you ever given it to a non-Asian person and they try to peel off the edible paper? Classic.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Mmm. I like durian candy and ice cream. I just can't stomach the real stuff.

I remember that theatre. Oh! Maybe you would know which movie, but it starred two guys and a girl love triangle/gangster mafia. I think one guy's family was killed and he joined a gang for revenge and it turned out that his girl's father was the culprit? And they met on the train when he went through the window and accidentally into her room? Argh! I'm so bad at the description but I remembered it was really good and don't know the name to find that movie again. :(

JadedOne said...

Hahahahha "I didn't like the stuff growing up as my relatives would try to foie gras that sh*t into my body." That's great commentary there.

So you must like the movie Battle Royale?

Tokyoastrogirl said...

Did the fact that your family shoved the spikey fruit down your throat in your youth make you stumple? I don't know what kind of girls look nice from the outside but are a spikey bomb waiting to explode on the inside....wait, you used to date Britney Spears?

dieselfire said...

Urgh.. I hate durians especially the smell. It sticks on to you for days!

As for the candy, my company also produces durian coffee and smoothies... Gross for me, delicious for others.

lwtsh said...

HAHAHAAHA. oh, man. do i remember garfield theater and its snack counter. the last movie i watched there was some jackie chan flick. have you been to the edwards by nbc?

eatdrinknbmerry said...

haha, seems like everyone is hot & bothered by the durian candy. glad to know most ppl know of the Garfield theatre - it was good fun.

Chubbypanda said...

I miss the glorious taste of fresh durian. Cat makes me take it out to the driveway if I want to eat it. I'm not allowed to open it in the house or bring an opened fruit in.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Cp, when i was a kid, i remembered my grandpa (in Macau) busting one of these open for us. my sister and i quickly covered our noses and walked away. he was shocked - thought we were in for a treat haha.

Merlin said...

sounds interesting. i don't recall actually ever eating durian. did you happen to try the 'meat' caramels?

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Merlin, I did and they are pretty good... tastes like lamb caramel. i didn't mind it at all... but then again, i like snake blood wine haha.




hope that wasn't too creepy.

j! said...

Where can I get snake blood wine? Seriously.

jinius said...

aw man i wish i grew up cali so i could've had some FOB fun. pout.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

J!, i suppose you can go to Petco and find one of those garden snakes, but you'd need lik 5 of those to get enough to fill a shot glass with chinese rice wine. check my TAIWAN link on the TRAVEL section, you can see photos of it. it's whatevers - just a thrill.

Jinius, it's not too late to live the FOB dream. Just move to a place off Valley Blvd - you'll know every delicious joint there in no time haha. You might even buy one of those face visors for driving.

SteamyKitchen said...

oh don't forget about those mini fruit jelly things that come in a little plastic container. peel plastic lid and squeeze AND suck the jelly out into your mouth. but just don't squeeze AND suck too hard....goes down too fast and you gag your esophogas right out! those come in durian flavors too.

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Steamykitchen, funny because I just saw those in that market too! I know exactly what you mean about eating them too fast - *cough*. I liked the lychee flavor one.

Van Han said...

I was thinking the same thing the other day while surfing through Yelp.com. Asians have a strong presence online that goes largely unnoticed. I buy every bit of your explanation.

Now can you explain why Indians and African-Americans are tagged as awful tippers when it comes to dining out or why Asians (older generation) think that a 2-dollar tip is more than enough when dining out at Asian establishments no matter how large the bill is?

Eleana said...

I just stumbled upon your website and its making for very good reading while at work. I was laughing silently at my comp screen reading the outline of the family: dad watching TV, mom with engrish apron, etc ... those are good memories that I'm sure all asian kids will look fondly upon and will miss when they are not able to do it anymore

Angie said...

This candy actually sounds like somethign I need to find a way to locate here in Florida.

joanh said...

you liked it? EWWWW. it would always stink up the house when my mom would eat it. i had fried durian the other day at a japanese fusion restaurant... they didn't tell me it was durian, since frying it took away the pungent smell.. but once you took a bite, it just tasted odd.mr

singingswingbabe said...

my youth pastor is bringing some of this candy to church this week and is promising 50 bucks to whoever can eat the whole piece. never had it before and from the sounds of it i may want to take a barf bag in reserve.

Anonymous said...

I can get Tibia Gold cheaply.
Yesterday i bought Tibia Platinum for my brother.
i hope him like it. i will give Tibia coins to him
as birthday present. i like the Tibia money very much.
I usually buy tibia gp and keep it in my store.

Anonymous said...

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www.honhai007.com.tw

Durian Candy LOVE said...

the odor is a bit strong but i really like the taste of durian. problem is, i can't eat more than one fleshy seed - i get dizzy fast!

but, i can indulge myself with locally made durian products like durian candy, tarts, and even ice cream.

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