I try the infamous King of Fruits
It has been likened to rotting onions, unwashed socks and even carrion in custard, but the most accurate description by far is that of a sewer full of rotting pineapples. -Durian Palace
Imagine the best, most delicious, and sensuous banana pudding you can imagine, add just a touch of butterscotch, vanilla, peach, pineapple, strawberry, and almond flavours, and a surprising twist of — garlic! – BBC
The Durian will forever live in infamy as one of the world’s nastiest fruits. It’s scent is supposed to be so foully pungent that businesses like hotels or public transport ban its admittance, and even “Bizare Food’s” star Andrew Zimmern can’t hold it down.
Which is why, upon visiting South East Asia, it was something I had to try. Bucket List status.
I’ll never say no to weird food.
An opportunity to try Durian was not nearly as elusive as I expected, as the fruit was available at any time of day from street venders, the backs of pickup trucks, and even your average grocery store.
Bulbous, green and spiky, this King of Fruits seemed to follow me wherever I went in Southeast Asia. In fact, I was apparently so adament in my initial enthusiasm in trying the fruit, that other members of my study abroad program began to tease me for my “obsession” with Durian, and pointed out references to the fruit wherever I went, acting as though it was a fetish of mine. The inside joke persisted for the remainder of my time abroad.
I tried my portion my very first night in Chiang Mai, as I was perusing the lines of stalls at the massive Night Bazaar. A friend and I purchased a pre-cut section for around 100 baht (much pricier than buying the unopened full fruit, but convenience is key).
The scent was not nearly as overpowering as I was expecting, although it was noticeable and not exactly pleasant. I crossed my fingers and hoped that I would be in the minority that had genes for enjoying the fruit.
I bit in.
The inside was very custard-like, hardly fibrous at all. I wasn’t absolutely mortified, so I didn’t quite get the disgusted reaction picture I was hoping for.
Overall it was pretty meh. I don’t have a strong feeling either way. Durians taste quite exactly like a cross between a mango and an onion. Both of which I like, but the combination was nevertheless odd.
Bucket list item, check!