Next on the Asia itinerary was Macau. Often coined the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau is one of two special administrative areas of China. The other special administrative area is Hong Kong.
Macau was a Portuguese colony until late 1999 so many of the typical dishes have heavy Portuguese influence. Lots of fish and rice is eaten in Macau, as well as hearty Portuguese stews. However, the South Pacific traditions are still readily available at the table.
One example of typical South Pacific influence is the choice of fruits in Macau. Everywhere I looked I saw (and smelled!) the infamous durian fruit. Shaped like a hedgehog, the durian fruit has a sort of rancid, putrid smell. To an outsider, it would seem ridiculous to even come close to such a fruit, let alone eat it! But my mom and I had our eyes set on trying this weird fruit and so we did.
We saw an ice cream shop that sold durian ice cream and decided to try it in ice cream form first to see if we really liked it. When I saw the ice cream, I remembered watching episodes of “No Reservations” and “Bizarre Foods” on the Travel Channel where the durian fruit was mentioned and always wanting to try it.
As I tried the durian ice cream, I was pleasantly surprised! The taste was sweet with a just a little tang of an aftertaste. I’m so glad I got to try durian and I’m happier that I liked it.