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Durian


Schielke
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  • 9 months later...

Well I just had durian for the first time yesterday at the Thai Food Festival in Tokyo. We were buying semi-frozen pineapple on a stick, when they handed us a free sample of something. I took a bite, it was smooth and creamy almost custard like with a nice seetness, I asked what it was and was told durian. I asked for another sample and first I smelled it and there was no bad smell, I ate it again and really enjoyed the taste.

Does the smell come upon opening it? Once removed from the shell is the smell no longer there? I smelled absolutely nothing unusual.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Well I just had durian for the first time yesterday at the Thai Food Festival in Tokyo. We were buying semi-frozen pineapple on a stick, when they handed us a free sample of something. I took a bite, it was smooth and creamy almost custard like with a nice seetness, I asked what it was and was told durian. I asked for another sample and first I smelled it and there was no bad smell, I ate it again and really enjoyed the taste.

Does the smell come upon opening it? Once removed from the shell is the smell no longer there? I smelled absolutely nothing unusual.

Walk into a Vietnamese market and that dead duck/two weeks past due date milk smell is the culprit. Leave that thing out at room temp and you can take that abundance of income you spend on smelling salts and buy something that's edible as well. Maybe you had a refridgerated durian...or one of those "designer" rips offs. If you came face to face with the real article you'd be making that sour lemon face for sure.

Edited by Chef/Writer Spencer (log)
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I had durian candy that was innocently placed on an Administrative Assistant's desk by a Law Partner who had just returned from Singapore.  Some JOKE!  To me, it didn't taste bad....at first.  I was sort of mangoey and honey-like upon first chew,  but then turned hot and oniony and garlicky and disgusting.  Since it was like taffy, I had no choice but to deal with the odor and disgusting aftertaste.  But I'm still alive. 

I understand that the most exclusive hotels in Singapore (such as Raffles) have also banned Durian eating on their premises and in rooms.

There are some pretty smelly foods that people will eat in this country as well.  The Ginko tree (where Ginko Biloba comes from) was planted throughout  Washington, DC for sidewalk shade because they grow quickly and don't have large root systems (to buckle the sidewalks).  Downside:  They create bushels and bushels of small fruits that smell like dog poop when stepped on.  From what I'm told, they make good jam.  DC has to spray the trees every year so they don't reproduce.  Maybe they should just make jam?

And don't even get me started on ramps, or poke sallet (or is that salad?) PEE-YOU!!!

I've TRIED THOSE! On a bus ride from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, I bought (ever so rebelliously) a pack of juicy fruit, which out of fear I threw away at the border, and a bag of durian candy. Everything that you say is true. To the letter.

I've heard horror stories about durian, and walking through the back alleys on a musky hot Chinese New Year, I smelt it for the first time.

"What's that?" I asked my friend Tomo.

"Durian," he replied. "The only way that I can really describe it, the taste, texture, and smell, is that it's like eating a raspberry creme reinverse in a truckstop bathroom."

The fruitstand was three blocks away. Either someone had left their window open, and in the perpetual 92 degree everyday weather, forgotten about it, or someone's shirt laundry had been pulled from the back of a durian dump truck.

They don't allow durians in school, and when I took classes at an international school over there, instead of bomb sniffing dogs at the gates, there were teachers with sensitive noses, checking the backpacks of unstealthy students.

It's a nasty taste, and coupled with the smell, it just doesn't have the potential to sit right.

The only other food that makes me feel that way?:

Natto- How so many Japanese schoolboys can eat that for breakfast and still not be known for their terrible breath or fits of vomiting, I'll never know.

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Durians- you either love it or hate it.

This is a very popular fruit in our parts. Not called King of Fruits for nothing. The best comes from Malaysia, esp if it came from the "wild", or from the kampungs and small orchards. These are more "stinky", and the taste more complex. For true durian connoiseurs, we look for a certain pungency in the aroma, and the taste should have some bitter notes to balance the rich sweetness. The sweet ones are for amateurs. The best ones will make me sneeze, the same reaction I get when drinking very good whisky!!, probably means it is stimulating certain nasal nerve endings.

Most exported durians come from Thailand, as they have managed to farm it in a systematic manner, and the smell is not as strong. The species is different too. Available all year round, rather than the Malaysian ones which fruit only 2-3 times a year. Thai durians are very big, like a football. The pieces of flesh inside the fruit are huge, and very filling. Taste sweet and not much else, rather like eating another variety of banana. I have not eaten Thai durian for years, but they are better in the processed form, e.g. in cakes, ice creams, sweets etc, for their consistent taste and bulkier forms.

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After riding public cross country buses in Malaysia and Indonesia smelling it in the overhead cargo bins finally tried it on the Island of Nias, Indonesia. Had a local pick it out and prepare it. Took one bite and hated it. They ate it up.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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My dad and I just shared a durian shake at a Malaysian restaurant. He liked it. I'd had it before. A little durian goes a long way--the smell doesn't bother me, and I like the flavor, but the onion taste catches up with me after a while.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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My dad and I just shared a durian shake at a Malaysian restaurant.  He liked it.  I'd had it before.  A little durian goes a long way--the smell doesn't bother me, and I like the flavor, but the onion taste catches up with me after a while.

I've had a similar drink at a vietnamese restaurant locally in NJ. Its got that incredible rich flavor, coupled with that dirty diaper smell. I love it, Rachel thinks its nasty.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love durian! But then I am asian. If you do ever try it again, you get rid of the aftertaste (and your bad breath) by gargling in water poured into one of the skins (drinking from the hollow inside, not the spiky side, of course...). Mangosteens do not cure the aftertaste, as someone suggested - what is believed, however, is that mangosteens are the "cooling" alternative to "heaty" durians so you eat them to "counterbalance" your body - that apparently is why they share the same growing seasons - allegedly too much heaty foods will make you feverish, too much cooling stuff will make you more susceptible to things like rheumatism - but it's not easy to spot - eg icecream is supposedly "heaty".

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, Rachel, Jhlurie and I had our first fresh Durian yesterday.

Holy crap!

Boy does that sucker smell. Its kind of like the experience of eating overripe bananas while driving thru Elizabeth, NJ in the Turnpike with your windows open.

We bought a fresh Durian in Chinatown yesterday and brought it as a gift to share with our favorite Vietnamese restaurant -- we only ate a small portion of it, they took the rest. I ate one small pod, but man oh man, the experience was not over after that. Then come the Durian BURPS for hours and hours after that. And beleive me, there is nothing worse than a Durian burp, its like farting out your mouth.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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And farting out the mouth - can't forget that.

Great description, Jason. However, I can't say that it has made me want to seek out Durian. I will however try it if given the opportunity... and nose plugs. :)

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I feel durian is best when used in a sweet/savory preparation. Foie Gras pairings are nice. You also need a fat riesling with a light amount of sugar to stand up to its rich complex nature.

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Our Asian Market now carries Durian ice cream and I've been tempted to try it. When I was in culinary school a few years ago my class was given an assignment to bring in an "exotic fruit". I brought in a Durian. I'd never tried it before. I took it into the garde manger kitchen and was actually gagging as I was cleaning the fruit out of the spiny shell. That's how bad the stench was - I've never gagged at the smell of anything before. The entire class left the kitchen. After that, I put the fruit into the cooler thinking I'd wait a while before I tasted it (to get over that whole smell experience). But when I tasted it, it tasted just as bad as it smelled...well not quite as bad, but close. Maybe they do something special to it to make it palatable in the ice cream.

I'll stick to Mango.

"Never eat more than you can lift" -- Miss Piggy

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Okay, for the record, the Durian smelled nothing like fecal matter or unwashed socks or the NJ Turnpike, no matter how fun it is to describe it that way. Realistically, it smelled like a combination of rotting bananas and rotting papayas.

I neither loved it nor hated it. I was somewhat easily amused by playing with the spikes on the outside, but that was my fun for the night instead of thinking up bad things it smelled like. :hmmm:

Our local expert--a Vietnamese chef--said it was a bit under-ripe though, so the smell was probably weaker.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Okay, for the record, the Durian smelled nothing like fecal matter or unwashed socks or the NJ Turnpike,

Dude, it freakin smells like Elizabeth.

Which part of Elizabeth? :blink:

{rimshot}

Try the fish. I'm here till next Tuesday!

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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  • 1 month later...

My first taste of durian was in candy form. I spent three days scraping my tongue.

My second taste of durian was as a cream in those sugar wafers. I spent one week scraping my tongue because the cream worked its way to the deepest crevices of my taste buds.

My third taste (with food, I never learn) of durian was the fruit itself. Once I got past the smell, it was Yummy! I still buy whole durian fruits today, but only at $0.99/lb. or less. I'm cheap. My attempts at roasting and boiling the seeds have not been successful -- too impatient for the process, I suppose.

Except for home-made ice cream, durian flavored anything is nasty. I still can not eat the candy or cookies.

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