Durian! The King of Fruits. Just the name elicits facial expressions of disgust and stories of gastrointestinal discomfort from some. For me, I love this fruit. First it is a very intimidation fruit with it’s spiked exterior but I think the more dangerous looking the fruit the better tasting it is. I mean it’s got to be guarding something right?
Many have tried to describe it’s unique flavor and smell: Anthony Bourdain (who loves durian by the way) says “Its taste can only be described as…indescribable, something you will either love or despise. …Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”
Chef Andrew Zimmern (star of Bizarre Foods) likened the taste to “completely rotten, mushy onions.” Zimmern cannot stomach durian by the way but then I probably couldn’t eat the rotten meat that I have seen him eat.
Travel and food writer Richard Sterling described it’s odor as “pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.” Come on! A gym sock? You’ve got to be kidding me!
OK, so opinions of this fruit vary. For me I love the custard like texture of the creamy fruit. At times I will admit that the smell is more like strong onions. And it’s a food that sticks around with you for awhile and sends little kisses of love from your insides. I’ve eaten it fresh in Indonesia and there is nothing like it.
My first experience was not the best. My wife had purchased some while we were staying in Jakarta and it was bad. It really did smell like rotten onions. So she threw it out the 8th floor window of the hotel otherwise we may have never been able to escape the intense smell in the room.
Whatever you may have heard about the durian if you haven’t tried it you owe it to yourself to give it a taste and see for yourself. Worst case you have a great story to tell your grand kids. I’m eating some as I write this.