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Durian


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I never liked nangka (what most people think of as jackfruit) much when I was a kid and hated cempedak (a stronger-tasting smellier variety). However, at that time, I also hated durian, whereas I like really excellent fresh ones now, and since I didn't try either nangka or cempedak during my trip to Malaysia last summer, I really couldn't say whether I'd like them now. However, both nangka and cempedak taste quite different from durian.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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not sure what a WoodApple is.

Tried the Palm fruit and Jackfruit, they taste absolutely NOTHING like Durian.

Jackfruit is crunchy and slightly sweetish (doesn't taste like chicken) it has a deep, not too unpleasant aroma.

Palm Fruit is small, translucent, kinda like a crunchy lychee. Sweet (from the syrup it's in)

Other interesting fruits I've eaten.

SnakeSkin fruit (buah Salak)

http://www.gotouring.com/razzledazzle/fruit/salak.html

Custard Apple (YUM)

Soursop (delicious!!!!)

Chempadak (makes good fritters)

Chiku

Buah Susu (a type of Passionfruit... my FAVOURITE!!!!)

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/water_lemon.html

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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I must confess I just don't get it. Perhaps the first time I tried durian I wasn't quite sure, but have come to love it in recent years. Sure if you let it get overripe it smells unpleasant, like any other rotten fruit, and the odor of the discarded rind is as bad (but no worse) than the odor of discarded citrus rind. I wonder how many of you who are horrified at the idea of trying durian are put off by other people's stories. Try it with an open mind.

Ruth Friedman

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Soursop (called "Dutch durian" in Malay [unless they changed the word in the last 25 years or so - place names for fruits and nuts seem to be disappearing in Malay], though it really isn't much like a durian) is another thing I never thought much of as a kid and haven't been impelled to try as an adult.

My favorite Malaysian fruits would include rambutan, local bananas, mangosteen, and the bracingly tart jambu air (I forgot the English name). When I was a kid, I used to gather buah kemunting, red berries that grew wild near a local graveyard (my neighbors thought I was berani [brave and perhaps an unwise risktaker] to ride my bike to such a spooky place for those berries. Loved 'em! Unfortunately, by last August, the birds had eaten all the berries, so I missed the season and a chance to taste them as an adult.

As a kid, I found buah salak OK but nothing amazing.

I'm really not sure what palm fruit is.

AzRaeL, do you know the Malay word for custard apple?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I must confess I just don't get it. Perhaps the first time I tried durian I wasn't quite sure, but have come to love it in recent years. Sure if you let it get overripe it smells unpleasant, like any other rotten fruit, and the odor of the discarded rind is as bad (but no worse) than the odor of discarded citrus rind.

Couldn't disagree more! I guess you aren't smelling the same thing most other people smell when durians are around. If durian didn't stink to most people, why would they be prohibited from hotels in Singapore and the monorail in Bangkok? They don't prohibit citrus fruits to the same degree; that's for sure.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Soursop (called "Dutch durian" in Malay [unless they changed the word in the last 25 years or so - place names for fruits and nuts seem to be disappearing in Malay], though it really isn't much like a durian) is another thing I never thought much of as a kid and haven't been impelled to try as an adult.

My favorite Malaysian fruits would include rambutan, local bananas, mangosteen, and the bracingly tart jambu air (I forgot the English name). When I was a kid, I used to gather buah kemunting, red berries that grew wild near a local graveyard (my neighbors thought I was berani [brave and perhaps an unwise risktaker] to ride my bike to such a spooky place for those berries. Loved 'em! Unfortunately, by last August, the birds had eaten all the berries, so I missed the season and a chance to taste them as an adult.

As a kid, I found buah salak OK but nothing amazing.

I'm really not sure what palm fruit is.

AzRaeL, do you know the Malay word for custard apple?

Palm fruit = Attap Chee

Soursop is yummy in a drink

Jambu air? Water apple.

the little pink thingies right?

(just remembr that "air" pronounced "ai yer" is malay for water)

Is there a Malay name for Custard Apple?

in the states, they call it Cherimoya

Oh yeah, i've tried Mangosteen, Rambutan and the little bananas but they're like staple fruits in the tropics.

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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Attap Chee doesn't sound Malay to me (rather, Chinese), but anyway, I've never heard of it. Atap was the straw that used to be used for roofs on Malay village houses, though. So is this the fruit of a tree that was used to build roofing material?

"Air" has no "ye" in the parts of Malaysia I've lived in and visited. It sounds like the English word "I." (The Indonesians pronounce the "r," but I'm not sure who does in Malaysia; probably people from Kedah.) But in any case, you've got jambu air pegged. Good ones are delightfully watery and crunchy, and refreshing in hot weather.

I've tried cherimoya once or twice, but never in Malaysia. I never saw it until a Korean vegetable and fruit store near my parents' place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan had them for sale. They were getting them from South America, I believe.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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My family LOVE durians! We used to buy it and wait for it to ripen...Everyday we would look to see if there's a crack...ah, the good old days of childhood!

Does rambutan taste like lychee?

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Pan - Custard apples are called Buah Nona in Malay.

And yes, attap chee or palm fruit is the young fruit of the nipah palm of which the dried fronds are used for attap roofs. So I guess palm fruit would be called Buah Nipah Muda in Malay. It's used a lot in ais kacang so you may eaten some before - it's the flattish slightly chewy translucent shaped somewhat like a fava bean things.

v. gautam - I'm afraid durian does not taste nor smell like any of the fruits you mentioned (apart from it being strong smelling like the jackfruit but their smells are nothing similar).

AzRael - googled and found that wood apples are called gelinggai / belinggai in Malay. Think it must be one of those fruits that are not comercially cultivated in Malaysia and as such can be quite difficult to find nowadays.

Hue - the texture of a rambutan can be somewhat like that of a lychee but crunchier (if it's a good one). Don't think the taste is similar though they both have a very slight sourish undertone. The fragrance of a lychee is quite predominant whereas that's not the case with a rambutan.

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I agree with Shiewie on rambutan vs. lychee. Lychees are definitely more fragrant. But while I still prefer lychees to rambutan - and they export much better - a fresh rambutan is a really fabulous fruit!

I just don't remember these other fruits AzRaeL and Shiewie are talking about. Also, I never liked ais kacang (shaved ice with beans, condensed milk, and various other stuff, a popular dessert throughout Southeast Asia).

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I just don't remember these other fruits AzRaeL and Shiewie are talking about. Also, I never liked ais kacang (shaved ice with beans, condensed milk, and various other stuff, a popular dessert throughout Southeast Asia).

Ice Kachang :)

in malaysia they call it Air Batu Champur (not sure about spelling but this is how it sounds phonetically) Shaved on a bowl filled with boiled kidney beans, greenbeans, redbeans, multi coloured agar-agar jelly, chendol noodles, atap chee. evaporated milk, and multi colored syrup is poured on the ice. It's alright, on a really hot day.

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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And yes, attap chee or palm fruit is the young fruit of the nipah palm of which the dried fronds are used for attap roofs. So I guess palm fruit would be called Buah Nipah Muda in Malay. It's used a lot in ais kacang so you may eaten some before - it's the flattish slightly chewy translucent shaped somewhat like a fava bean things.

Dried fronds are used as thatching and calledattap in Malay and nipa in the Philippines.

http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/plants/palm_nipah.htm

The immature fruits are white translucent and hard jelly-like. Called attap chee, they are a common ingredient in local dessert.

so Attap really is a malay word.

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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It was discussed once way back, so you might want to try the search engine. I ate it, but didn't much like it. Kind of soapy taste. Fat Bloke insisted I must have had a bad one. I am sceptical.

Yeah, you either had a bad one or somebody didn't rinse the dishes enough. Of all the gripes I've heard about Durian, that's an original.

Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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I encountered durian in the flesh for the first time quite by accident during a trip to SE asia last year; at the time I wrote:
While at the mall [Panthip Plaza in Bangkok --ed], we stopped in the local version of a food court, which was actually quite tasty, with one terrifying exception...

Miranda came back to our seat with a number of things on her plate, including a fruit concoction that looked kind of like pureed greenish mango over rice.   She had a few spoonfuls and said "I think this might be durian...it's not bad, want to try it?"

Tactical error number one: not running away immediately once the name of durian was invoked. 

Figuring that since she'd had a few bites and was neither gagging nor clutching her throat it was probably safe, I put a very very small bit (not even a quarter of a teaspoon) on a spoon and put it in my mouth.  That was tactical error number two.

You would probably expect that nothing which people refer to as a "fruit" could smell and taste like rotting meat.  A reasonable expectation, but I am sad to report an incorrect one.  This stuff tasted and smelled like...well, actually it smelled EXACTLY like the meat section of the town market in Siam Reap, Cambodia.  Possibly even worse, since at least in the market I could (and did) hold my breath, whereas here the offending odor was IN MY MOUTH.  I'm sure you're thinking "it can't possibly be that bad."  Actually, it was worse.

Wanting to get rid of this stuff as quickly as possible, I made my third, final, and worst tactical error: I swallowed.  That wasn't a problem in and of itself, but about 30 seconds later, with the aid of the soda I had washed it down with, I burped.  And suddenly the horror was back in full force, along with the sinking realization that it was going to keep coming back every few seconds for the next half an hour.  If I could have opted for an on-the-spot execution, I would have.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Miranda insists that it wasn't that bad: she described the taste as "creamy, a bit like raisins and onions" and insists that it tastes not at all like rotting meat.  She even mostly finished it.  I am not 100% convinced even now that she wasn't having me on, but I can't imagine anybody voluntarily eating that much durian even for the sake of a very good joke.  She maintains even now, sitting next to me, that it tastes good.  I love her regardless, but I would advise approaching any strange fruits you find here in Thailand with EXTREME CAUTION.

On a happier note, we tried mangosteens earlier in the day, and they were wonderful, like a combination of lychee and tangerines.  We both agree on that one.

(The full travelogue is here for the curious.)

My theory on durian: like cilantro, the ability to taste the horrific bits may be a genetically inherited trait.

You might very well be right, though it is genuinely fascinating to think that my Tex-Bohonk genome intersects with those of Malays and Thais right at the tastebuds (hey, why not!).

I've been eating Durian ever since I decided to find out for myself just what those wacky sadists'-football-looking Sau Rieng thingies at Cho Que Huong were all about. A decade later, the decadent custard with the tire-fire whiff is still a major comfort food.

Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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I made a trip to my local Hong Kong Market today. While browsing the cookie aisle, I noticed they had some cookies that looked like those waffle sugar wafers, you know, the ones with the dry waffle cookies with sugar filling? Anyway, they had durian sugar wafers. I chickened out.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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If you live in Seattle, you can get fresh durians at Juyjamaya (spelling) in the International District. I think they come in a little bag so you dont have to hold onto the spines and risk dropping it.

Not sure about the price either since I knew I wouldnt buy one. It is very interesting to me that some people dont mind the smell. I do think it is horrible, but that is probably a personal thing. :raz:

They're not cheap here in Houston, either, but you get plenty of yumyum out of one durian. We usually get them frozen, then they have to thaw and sit for a while to achieve a bit of stinktitude. Then it's just a matter of busting them open and grooving to the tire-fire custard! You gotta' love a day and age where a machete is a kitchen necessity.

Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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If you live in Seattle, you can get fresh durians at Juyjamaya (spelling) in the International District.  I think they come in a little bag so you dont have to hold onto the spines and risk dropping it.

Not sure about the price either since I knew I wouldnt buy one.  It is very interesting to me that some people dont mind the smell.  I do think it is horrible, but that is probably a personal thing.  :raz:

They're not cheap here in Houston, either, but you get plenty of yumyum out of one durian. We usually get them frozen, then they have to thaw and sit for a while to achieve a bit of stinktitude. Then it's just a matter of busting them open and grooving to the tire-fire custard! You gotta' love a day and age where a machete is a kitchen necessity.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

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I made a trip to my local Hong Kong Market today. While browsing the cookie aisle, I noticed they had some cookies that looked like those waffle sugar wafers, you know, the ones with the dry waffle cookies with sugar filling? Anyway, they had durian sugar wafers. I chickened out.

Half of the brands use real durian, and the others use a very convincing synthetic. You're actually safer with the real stuff, since the synthetics try a little too hard to emulate the strong notes (alright, the stench). No need to be chicken, either way, though. It's all highly fragrant, but nothing like the intensity of, say, a ripe cabrales or gamey pheasant. Take the plunge, already; durian is one of life's great pleasures, and there's no shame in starting in the shallow end.

Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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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. :)

Tum podex carman extulis horridulum. Sorry, that's the only Latin I remember and I'm sticking to it.

Nam Pla moogle; Please no MacDougall! Always with the frugal...

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  • 3 weeks later...
I just ran across this incredidible site on the durian:

http://www.durianpalace.com/

Wow, that IS an incredible site.

The stuff in his photography section borders on porno. I mean look at THIS one:

http://www.durianpalace.com/images/photoga...g04-jpg^spg.jpg

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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