Monday, May 7, 2007

More About Durian

One of my favorite fruits is Durian. It is so creamy and sweet, kind of like custard in a shell. I had my first taste when I lived in Thailand. People had told me that you either love it or hate it. I had decided that I would be neutral, so I could be polite, but I wouldn't have to go out and buy some myself. The first taste was ok. The smell is strong, but I had been told to not smell when I tasted, and so that first bite got down ok. I was able to finish the serving I was given and say a polite "Thank you."

The second time I was offered some went about the same. I was able to get it down without a problem, but didn't think much about it.

The third time is when problems started. When I took a taste, I knew I was in trouble. I was no longer neutral. I couldn't wait to take another bite. I eagerly ate my serving and accepted an offer for seconds. I was hooked. I loved the stinkiest fruit in the world. This is when I started asking lots of questions. How does durian grow? How do you buy durian? How do you open a durian if you buy one? Would you like to know too?

Durian grows on very tall trees. Their size reminds me of pine trees, but the trees have leaves and not needles. There are many durian trees in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, but the best durian grows in Thailand. It is famous around the world. The favored variety is called "Golden Pillow". It is the least strongly scented, and has the most creamy, sweet texture. It is the kind that is often sold frozen in the USA at oriental type stores.

The durian grows high up in the branches. They have spikes on the outside of the shell. They are very large and heavy, at least as big as a football, but often much bigger then basket balls. You would never want to be walking under the tree when one of them fall.

Thankfully, I didn't have to find a durian tree and climb it to find durian when I was in Thailand, I could simply go to the local market and ask them to pick one out for me. Yum. There is nothing more delicious. Now days I place an order at our local Asian store and get it when the monthly order comes in. It is frozen, so I can keep it until we are ready to enjoy our treat. It is around $3 a pound, which seems expensive, until you compare it to a bag of your favorite junk food. Then you know you are getting a good deal, because the nutrition in durian per pound far exceeds any junk food.

3 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

lindafay said...

We ate our first Durian fruit last year. The smell wasn't so bad when cold. The taste was neutral, too. I've heard it is addictive. Your story sounds as if this is true. We saw a nice video about it at the Natl. Geog. website. I think it is so interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

I like your new site, so fresh and bright, spring-y and pretty.

Fun to learn more about durian! I enjoyed seeing the pictures.

melanie west said...

we have durian in the philippines! it is stinky alright but it taste good! i haven't had one since we moved here in the states. i might check the other asian stores when we go back to virginia but filipino stores didn't have one, they only have the candies which is what most filipinos preferred i guess since it does not smell bad..lol