Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Have You Met Durian?

I'll admit that I've gazed at the fruit for years. They are commonly sold at the Berkeley Bowl. Their aggressive prickly coat is remarkable - and a little painful.


Anyone get one of these bad boys in their CSA allotment for the month???

Kelli from Waiting for Sprout peaked my interest about the Durian when she reported on the fruit earlier this year. Go on, please...go read about it here.

Here is an example of the warning signs that she talked about:


Why though? Why would anyone dog the King of Tropical Fruit?


Check this thing out. The ones that I've seen are about the size of a large, elongated coconut. A coconut with woody spikes. One that you really, really wouldn't want bonking you on the head as it falls from a cute island tree. It is quite...uhmm....commanding, wouldn't you agree?


Apparantly common not only at the Berkeley Bowl...


I've heard that the smell of this fruit will knock you over. I've heard the scent described as anything between limburger cheese - nasty rotted fruit - old gym socks - uhhh, yeah, you get the idea...


Hungry yet?

So today I had my first taste of the Durian. In a very small way.

I sipped a friend's Durian Shake...from a straw...with the lid still attached to the cup. And...lets just say...I needed two pieces of gum to wash away the aftertaste once I got back to the office.

So, I really wonder - is it an acquired taste? Or, are you in or you're out with the Durian?

Please let me know if you've had the pleasure of sampling this intriguing fruit and what you thought about it. I'm willing to give it another try - but it will have to be the right place/time (read: after several Tsingtao's).

Desperately I tell you...how desperately I wanted to be the super-cool girl that LOVES the King Durian. Guess I'm just not that girl.

I do love Turnip Cake, though, and fish balls. Love sushi, tofu...any kind of mushroom, and I can tolerate chicken feet (fried). Sooo, I'm still "in there", right?

Ya know what? This is fun.

21 comments:

Janet said...

CHICKEN FEET? Ugh. And that fruit looks like I won't be trying it any time soon.....whoever thought of EATING it?

atomic mama said...

I would *love* to have a Berkeley Bowl nearby. Great photos and fun post! Well, except for the whole conjuring up the taste of gas and onions in my mouth... it's been 13 years since I tried durian, and I can STILL taste it, ha ha!

Mary & Jacek said...

The local raw vegan place makes a "cheese"cake flavored with durian. I finally tried it and the initial bite was ok, but the aftertaste was not good. Yuk.

secret agent said...

Chicken feet......... come here for a visit, our "local" grocery store is full of them, pigs ears, and other unidentifiable parts.

What did the fruit taste like? I too am curious about it.

walternatives said...

I first met the Durian in Sumatra, summer of 1997. I don't remember if I tasted it, or just tried to taste it (but couldn't get past the gawd awful smell). Regardless, that was as close as I want to get to a Durian. As in Kelli's post, during our time in Indonesia, we saw the same signs everywhere (hotels, buses, guesthouses) telling King Durians to Keep Out.

Project Ni Hao said...

I've never had the chance to try one, or anything made from it. And I seriously doubt my little midwestern CSA will be sending one out anytime soon ;)

But Anthony Bourdain? (here I go again!) He rather enjoys them. [swoon].

Doris & Dan said...

Any fruit that tastes like cheese is not cup of durian!

Keep smilin!

Miss Cleo said...

I have had them. Actually, in San Fran. Not quite my taste. The first picture you posted made it look like a hedgehog. Cool!

tundrachica said...

Can't say I have seen this fruit nor tried it. Looks like the Enemy fruit. I will have to ask hubby what he knows about it and if he has ever cooked with it.

Avery's Mom & Dad said...

I have only heard about them because of the smell. I am really sensitive to odor....so if liking or eating durian makes you super cool....then I am so not going to be in the "cool group" But as far as I am concerned you will always be super cool....durian lover or not:)

steph said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
My friend's husband is a raw vegan, meaning not only strict vegan but nothing cooked. The boy is addicted to Durian, but was under strict orders NEVER to open or eat it in the house. Even the 7 year old daughter would say "It smells like ass, dad".
He is also a 'chef' specializing in raw dishes. He made a durian and blueberry pie once, and it was really really really good. Didn't smell too bad, definitely not great, but it was good stuff.
But the flavor did linger, so I think it's truly an acquired taste.

Shannon S said...

You always open my eyes to things new and fascinating! Sorry the meeting didn't go as well as hoped. (I keep thinking Dorian Gray by O. Wilde.) Oh well. You are still the coolest by far!

Carolyn said...

I think they are also LOADED with potassium... too much for some people to tolerate if I remember correctly!
Not so sure I'd be brave enough to meet it...

C.J. said...

I have to be honest...I'm a little afraid of that thing ;0)

isepa said...

Never really heard of it and now I know to stay away from it.

Katie J said...

When we went to China we bought some flashcards in Guangzhou and we just gave them to her for family day. These particular flash cards have fruit on them and the King of Tropical Fruit is certainly in there. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm glad to be warned of it's pungency. Have you tried morbier cheese? Oooh-wee is that strong.

You are so still in there. When you go to China, make sure you try the dragonfruit, a yummy cross between a watermelon and a kiwi.

Cavatica said...

My husband wants to try durian fruit in China. I don't know any place near us to get it. I suspect it would send me far away. But, I will eat chicken feet - I did in Taiwan. Not bad.

Tammy said...

Girl, I give you credit for trying it. Sounds foul. Doesn't look appetizing either. Must be an aquired thing - or enjoyed by those who are taste bud deficient.

rubyiscoming said...

I have a friend who went to a muckety muck party in China and there were served this huge platter with a silver lid, glistening. She lifted it and what was inside? One giant full goose leg fried still had hair, still had feet,everything. The delicacy? the webbing between the toes. Mmmmm...she says it was quite tasty and no Durian smell :)

Whenever someone tells me I CANT have something, doesn't it make you want it more? Now I WANNA have a Durian, too, dammit! And I luuurrrve stinky cheese :)

new girl said...

I will go ahead and say that I am not cool. Never have been, never will!

However I too can tolerate chicken's feet, so maybe I am lukewarm?

Jonni & John said...

Don't worry you are still a super cool girl in my book. That is one crazy looking fruit. I had never heard of one before, but it sounds like it is not too yummy. Think I will hold off on this one.

Hugs,
Jonni