I felt like a zombie when we arrived in Sydney. Over 22 hours of travel will do that to a person (we had a very long layover in Los Angeles, if you curious how all that time stacked up). On our first day/night in Australia, Dave and I were determined to get out and see things instead of succumbing to unbelievable jet lag. We ambled through the Chinatown Night Market, refusing table offers from persistent maitre-d's. (Or where they drug dealers? Not sure - too tired to tell.) We stopped at a confectionery stall to watch an impressive candy-making demonstration.
Dragon's Beard is a Chinese treat that dates back over 2000 years. The outer part of the candy is made by folding and pulling sugar repeatedly until it turns into superfine threads, like hair. The strands are wrapped around a finely ground filling of toasted coconut, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Because of it's fine texture, Dragon's Beard is extremely sensitive to heat and humidity. It's shelf life is pretty much nonexistent, so it kind of felt like a privilege to see these candies being made by hand, and then getting to eat it immediately.
There is a lot of texture wrapped into a Dragon's Beard. The crumbly filling is hard to control once the silky exterior has been broken. The freshly pulled sugar still retained a bit of heat, allowing it to stretch by inches when bitten. There's a pretty embarrassing photo of me on my first bite of Dragon's Beard in which my eyes are rolled far back into my head with pure bliss. It's indicative of how yummy the candy was, but I'm thankful to Dave for not including it in the Flickr stream for our trip.
Check out some more of Dave's photos from Australia. There are more to come, and I'll be writing a bit more about fun things from our trip soon.