I’ve only ever eaten durian in one of those sweet pancakes you will often find in an Asian bakery. I can vaguely remember the first time I tried it, thinking it was going to be one of those foods which smelled terrible, but tasted wonderful. My conclusion? It smelled terrible, and tasted pretty average.
I discovered yesterday I’ve been missing out on the more “superior” version of thefruit, the Musang King.
I learned this at a cooking demonstration by Jackie M of “Malayasian Heritage Cuise”. I’ve been following (and have chatted with her) on social media for close to a decade, but this was the first time we’ve met in real life. She does some terrific cooking classes which you can see on her website.
Now that I’ve learned a little more about durian, I’ll persist.
She also explained a few more interesting things about Malaysian food, including that sugar is often added to meat to make it taste sweeter. A lot of Western people don’t like sweet tasting meats, she told us, adding that her own taste preferences have changed in the time since she moved to Australia.
Her presentation was part of a whole weekend international celebration of Malaysian food. A significant part of this weekend was to promote Malaysian fruit, such as durian in Australia.
It was a lovely way to spend an hour or so on a Saturday afternoon, ahead of a big night, attending the opening night in Sydney of the much-hyped musical, Hamilton.
It lives up to the hype.
It’s an interesting, and well told story of the late eighteen century in the United States, as told through the life story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the “founding fathers” of the republic, who later became President.
It has a wonderful, very contemporary musical score, with lots of great songs. As I watched it, I couldn’t help but think of the “revolutionary” way in which “Jesus Christ Superstar” incorporated modern styles of music into the format of a musical, or “rock opera” was it was called back then. One song “The Room Where It Happens” is stuck in my head today.
And the performance by the Australian cast was absolutely wonderful. Great singing, great choregoraphy, and beautifully staged. “The cast look like they’re having a lot of fun”, my friend who came with me said.
She saw the original musical in the United States a couple of years ago. “It’s as good, if not better than the original production”, she said.
Flawless. Highly recommended.
The producer of Hamilton came on stage at the end of the show, extolling the virtues of this production, the only production of the musical being staged in the world right now. He also paid tribute to Australians who’ve “done the right thing” during COVID, to allow live theatre to return.