Day 17: Asian American Expo

Alex Goh's Dragon Whiskers

Alex Goh’s Dragon Whiskers

I took my family to the 34th Asian American Expo in Pomona, California, today. We arrived at the Fairplex around 11am and I was suddenly reminded why I haven’t been to the L.A. County Fair in 25+ years. I enjoy events like these, but the enormity of this trade show, with the amount of people and the high levels of volume, was some serious sensory overload.

Still, it was great to see so many Asian and Asian American businesses and organizations at the fairgrounds today (day one of the two-day event). I would’ve loved to have seen the Filipino American community represented here, though; Jolibee would’ve been a perfect addition to the festivities. There were also lots of cultural activities and we were able to take in a martial arts demonstration and a hula performance.

Like the thousands of our fellow AsianAmExpo attendees, our first stop was the food hall. There was booth after booth of food exhibitors and we sampled until we were full. From curry to sriracha, cookies to juices, there was something for everyone.

What made my day, though, was seeing Alex Goh make his Dragon Whiskers candy. That’s him pictured above, after taking a single strand of honey and water in cornstarch, and transforming it into thousands of whisker-like strands. He then wraps a mixture of peanuts and sesame in the whiskers, for a light, semi-sweet treat that’s unique and melt-in-your-mouth good. My family and I have had Goh’s candy before, but we’ve never seen him make them in person, so this was a real treat.

Even after noshing on ramen, barbecued squid, boba drinks, and my first ramenburger (pictured below; it was good, but didn’t live up to the hype) at the outdoor food festival, the Dragon Whiskers were the highlight. It’s not every day that you get to see how the magic happens.