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Durian


Schielke
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Is  canned or frozen durian  tolerable enough to allow one to appreciate its characteristics?

By frozen durian, I assume you mean the durian pulp wrapped in cling wrap/polystyrene or in plastic containers? Or do you mean the fruit that is frozen whole, shell and all, and then thawed for sale?

I've had frozen durian (both ways), as well as fresh ones, but not canned durians. I think frozen durians are a very good way to enjoy the fruit. They are fairly consistent in quality.

Frozen durians tend to lack that strong characteristic durian smell, or it may be there but muted, which may be a good thing, depending on how you look at it. :smile:

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Do they have red durian in Perak and Johor?

By red durian, do you mean those typically smaller fruits with an orange or reddish pulp? The pulp tends to be dryer, and less sticky but has a very strong taste.

I have seen this type of durian in Sarawak, and my aunt is the only person I know who enjoys them, besides the native people. Colloquially, we call them "native durians" or Dayak durian. The dayaks are the aborigines of Sarawak and other parts of Borneo.

And this is relative coz some people prefer the milder smelling and tougher flesh ones like the Thai durians. Some durians have very 'watery' flesh. I prefer mine to be like a very, very thick and rich custard, sweet but a tad bitterish taste.

Kew, I think we share the same taste in durians. I love those thick, rich ones with a bitter undertone. I simply CANNOT get those here in the states. :sad: I suspect most of those sold here are Thai.

Now, I wonder if DHL or FedEx will ship durians. :wink:

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Do they have red durian in Perak and Johor?

By red durian, do you mean those typically smaller fruits with an orange or reddish pulp? The pulp tends to be dryer, and less sticky but has a very strong taste.

I have seen this type of durian in Sarawak, and my aunt is the only person I know who enjoys them, besides the native people.

That's very interesting. My friend Mamat bin Mat in Terengganu said that they are the best durians, and I certainly agree with him, in the sense that it was by far the best durian I ever tasted. I have to say I didn't think the one he served us was small at all compared to other durians. As I remember, the flesh was basically the same whitish color as usual (maybe just slightly reddish), but the skin had a slight red tint.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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And this is relative coz some people prefer the milder smelling and tougher flesh ones like the Thai durians. Some durians have very 'watery' flesh. I prefer mine to be like a very, very thick and rich custard, sweet but a tad bitterish taste.

Kew, I think we share the same taste in durians. I love those thick, rich ones with a bitter undertone. I simply CANNOT get those here in the states. :sad: I suspect most of those sold here are Thai.

Now, I wonder if DHL or FedEx will ship durians. :wink:

Yay!! You have excellent taste in durians. :biggrin::biggrin:

I think what Pan means is Durian Tembaga which has now morphed into the genetically enhanced Durian 101 (or is it 010?).

And btw TP, I went again to the LDP stall, but it was again, closed. :sad::wacko:

Last nite, we passed by Seri Kembangan (Serdang) and I saw that D24 durians going for RM10 for 3. When I was preggers with my daughter (8 yrs ago) , I craved for D24 and they cost something like RM40-60per fruit! But then again, the D24s now aren't quite the same. Back then D24s were quite the novelty.

I'm gonna pass by the old trunk road to Sepang later today .... so I might buy some 'kampung' durians. Yumm! Don't worry, I'll eat for ya too wongste :biggrin:

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Do they have red durian in Perak and Johor?

By red durian, do you mean those typically smaller fruits with an orange or reddish pulp? The pulp tends to be dryer, and less sticky but has a very strong taste.

I have seen this type of durian in Sarawak, and my aunt is the only person I know who enjoys them, besides the native people.

That's very interesting. My friend Mamat bin Mat in Terengganu said that they are the best durians, and I certainly agree with him, in the sense that it was by far the best durian I ever tasted. I have to say I didn't think the one he served us was small at all compared to other durians. As I remember, the flesh was basically the same whitish color as usual (maybe just slightly reddish), but the skin had a slight red tint.

Okay, then I don't think we're thinking of the same kind of durian. I've never had Durian Tembaga, and I doubt if Stop and Shop will have it any time soon. :hmmm:

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I bought durians yesterday and the day before too. :biggrin: And that included 4 Durian Tembagas. They were durians from Negeri Sembilan. They were RM4 per kg (other durian kampung currently sell at RM1-2) but out of that 4, only 1 was really good.

The Star paper reported that the government wants everyone to replace all durian kampung trees with either cloned or hybrid durians. :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Durian is uniquely and distinctively a South East Asia fruit. I remembered growing up in Singapore, during the durian season, my dad would buy a barrel of durian (about 20 - 30) and my whole family would just eat durian that evening. Out of 10 durians, we might get like 1 or 2 durians that are not so good -- either not ripe enough or just bad. My advice is never buy durians that are already cracked open. and never buy durians that have been sitting in a refrigerator for months during shipping.

I wondered if your first experience of durian is so bad because of bad durian you had. I don't know of any born and raise Southeast Asian who didn't like durians. Maybe, it's not so much as an acquired taste, but more in the availablity of the freshest and best durians that you had the opportunity to experience. You are thinking of getting some frozen month old durians from Chinatown here in the States, just to get a of taste durian that way... well, I rather you not put yourself through it and have a lifetime distaste for our beloved durian.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yay! Bitter durian lovers unite! Down with the no aroma thai durians. Tasting a really good durian is like tasting a good single malt scotch (imho) [Glenmorangie 10 y.o]. There are just too many flavor characteristics that is lost without the aroma portion of the experience. That is the one thing that I missed about SE Asia.... good cheap tropical fruits (although Durians aren't that cheap). The local asian supermarkets stock durians of the frozen kind (in SD, cali) but it's usually the thai variety and costs a bundle.

Anyway, got to agree that the uncultivated durians are the best!

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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:

Boy Schielke, you totally slaughtered the name! lol

Uwajimaya

Edited by dougery (log)

"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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Yay! Bitter durian lovers unite! Down with the no aroma thai durians.

Yay!! Let's start a chant! down. with. no. aroma. thai. durians. down. with. no. aroma. thai. durians. down. with... okay, that's enough.

You know what I resent most? Reality TV making durian eating a challenge. Over the weekend, I caught an episode of a dubious reality show on E! that got the contestants to down a liquid blend of durian and fish guts. Oy!! Durian abuse! :angry:

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This weekend a friend (who had just been to Chicago's Chinatown ) gave me a couple of durian caramels. Beneath the warm buttery creamy mango-esq taste and texture lurked that evil durian scent, which reminds me quite simply of death. A year ago this same friend insisted we try the fruit itself, and my reaction was the same- enjoyment and repulsion!

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  • 2 years later...

Well I was off work this Friday and in Camberwell and was walking past a Chinese supermarket and saw in the fruit and veg three odd looking fruit.

I asked what it was and they couldn't tell me a language I know so I thought perhaps it's a Durian and thought WTF, picked the biggest one and bought one. Cost£20-90 and weighed about 3 Kilos. It was wrapped in several layers of newspaper, a carrier bag (tied up) and then another carrier bag to carry it with. I then got on the bus to Brixton, up until then I'd not really noticed a smell but then then started to get the odd waft of what I'd best describe a sweet rotting onions with a hint of sock. Not unpleasant as I like strong cheese etc.

As luck would have it I had to drop in some forms to Lambeth council in Brixton, after the usual long wait things were getting a bit more fragrant, not really smelly just the odd strong waft. Did get a few people sniffing and looking around.

Anyway got home and unwrapped it (outside just in case) and the smell was only really there if you got up close but you had to be careful of the spikes. Anyway got my biggest knife and went at the thing, took some opening as I couldn't find the seams but managed to get inside.

Anyway grabbed one of the pod things, it's like a think membrane wrapped around custard with an orange seed inside and had a good niff, again sweet rotting onions with a hint of sock is the best description but a stronger now open but again not unpleasant and took a bit. Yum, tastes like a almond custard with a hint of banana and garlic. Tastes really good must have some more.....

Anyway way to much in one for one so I put it scooped out the rest of the flesh and put it into a Tupperware container and closed it and then had a go at opening the other part of the Durian. Just then the neighbours came into the courtyard so decided to see what they thought. Opening the Tupperware you could really smell the rotting onions so one wouldn't touch it, one tried a little bit and said it's ok the other grabbed a whole seed and after the first bit declared it delicious and ate the whole thing.

Now I'm waiting for my partnerto come in and see what he thing <evil grin>.

Would I buy one again, yes definitely but would only eat it outside and if I was not going anywhere as my hands smell of onions, and there's an aftertaste off garlic that lasts a long time. No burps to report yet.

Also the seed seems to atract flies beter that s*&t, had to bag them up and make sure they were away from the house.

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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Full disclosure: I was in a band called The Durians for about 8 years in the 90s (Google Durians and Atlanta if you're dying of curiosity)....

I've been trying to think of something productive to add to this, and I guess my target audience would be the person who hasn't taken the plunge yet.

Try to forget the descriptions you've heard, especially forget about onions, garlic, poop, and feet. And just taste it. Maybe I got lucky, I had my first one last year (a whole one), but I didn't really enjoy it until I stopped trying to figure out what it tasted like. After that it was a pleasant, unique experience.

Good luck....

mark

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Full disclosure: I was in a band called The Durians for about 8 years in the 90s (Google Durians and Atlanta if you're dying of curiosity)....

I've been trying to think of something productive to add to this, and I guess my target audience would be the person who hasn't taken the plunge yet.

Try to forget the descriptions you've heard, especially forget about onions, garlic, poop, and feet. And just taste it. Maybe I got lucky, I had my first one last year (a whole one), but I didn't really enjoy it until I stopped trying to figure out what it tasted like. After that it was a pleasant, unique experience.

Good luck....

mark

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I'm one of the rare people who grew up in durian-eating country (I was going to say durian growing, but I live in Singapore) who can either take it or leave it.

I'll eat one or two, but god help you if you try to bring it to my home. My poor father has to go to his brother's house to eat it. :biggrin: It keeps my mother happy (it makes her sick), my younger brothers won't eat it (but strangely enough will eat Thai durian cake), and I'm happy because I won't have to worry about whatever pastry I have in the fridge becoming durian-flavored. Plus dad's not allowed to eat too many anyway, and if he buys back, we'll have to throw the rest away.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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No-one has durian trees in Singapore?

Let me put it this way, it's not grown commercially, and I don't know anybody who has a durian tree in Singapore.

My aunt does have her own orchard though. She grows durians, mangosteens, you name it, and she probably does grow it.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I've never had the fruit straight-up, but I like durian flavored ice cream, bubble tea, etc (I get some WEIRD looks when I order that...). Some of the artificial durian flavored stuff sort of tastes like tropical fruit mixed with onions to me.

I've always seen durians at Uwajimaya in Seattle, but I've never been brave enough to buy one and just eat it plain. I think this thread has pushed me over the edge finally... I'm gonna head down there asap!

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So I finally took the durian plunge, and I gotta say -- I really like it! I actually found that the flavor was not as intense as some durian flavored stuff I've tried (the one I got was a whole frozen specimen). I'd probably eat it again, but I at about $13 a durian at the only place in Seattle I've seen them so far, I'm not sure I'll make it a regular thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

... there's a Chef in Kuala Lumpur doing crazy durian desserts including one with foie... I could just be tempted, but for the record, I'm a fresh durian fruit fanatic... I like the following:

'wild' durian picked off the jungle floor by intrepid 'hunters'.

I can't stand the grafted and interbred 'composite' varieties and I can't handle the taste of the Thai stuff...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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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. 

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

Poke don't stink! (I'll grant the ramps.) What, are you boiling old leaves for half a day?!

I like the smell of durian, it reminds me of carob trees (which some people find urine-y). And the taste is ok. But Artificial Durian Flavor (I had cookies, but I imagine the candy above was probably the same) tastes like dog poop smells. I actually had to take the package outside (my hens ate it, but then they'd eat dog poop too). My kids were eating them: "Mama, this cookie smells! Munchmunchmunch.

They are evil.

Edited by suseyblue (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had a love affair with during since I was in the third grade in Iowa, when a Weekly Reader article about the fruit, complete wiht picture, captured my attention. I knew then and there that I wanted to try it. (I was, after all, the kid whose mom knew that to get him to eat more meat instead of desserts at the all-you-can-eat buffet, all she had to do was tell him that swiss steak was rattlesnake meat...) ;)

So many years later in 1985, when I was about 27, I was back in Iowa and in a particularly awful economic situation. And wouldn't you know that that's when I'd see a pound of frozen durian at a thai food store for 10 dollars. Ten dollars I really didn't have...but I had waited so long. I plunked it down without a second thought. After it thawed, I opened the package, got a whiff, and said "Oh, no way....crap...." Then an hour later, "Dammit, I spent 10 dollars for that, I'm going to eat it if it kills me!" So I took a piece and took a bite. Weird. Tasted good, the smell was bizarre. Like some component of rotten onions. Took another bite. Hmmm...took another bite, somehow it all came together. It took me about 3 minutes to eat all of it. :raz:

Much later, living in Seattle, I went with friends up to Vancouver, where they import fresh fruits from Thailand. (The whole durians in Seattle, BTW, have been frozen, so the peels have no smell - the peels actually have a very sweet, almost pineapple-like smell.) I found a durian, very ripe, for 30 Canadian dollars. Got it. But then didn't have time to eat it there...so we had to smuggle it back! I put it in a plastic sac, tied it tight, put that in another sack, tied it tight, till a total of around 7 sacks I think. Put that in my suitcase. Put the suitcase on the very bottom of the pile of suitcases (there were four of us in the car). I also had a start of a plant that a friend had given me.

So an hour later, as we're approaching the border, the smell is already making itself apprent in the car. And we got a border agent that looked like something out of "Cops." The conversation:

Agent: So, where ya been?

Driver: Vancouver

Agent: How long ya been there?

Driver: Just a day.

Agent: What'd ya do there?

Driver: Went to a party.

Agent: Was it a pretty wild party?

Driver: No, mostly 50 year old folk dancer...

Agent: [long pause]....D'ja buy anything?

Driver: No.

Agent: You spent 3 days in Vancouver, and didn't buy anything?

Driver: Yes...no, we only spent one day.

Agent: [another pause] I'm gonna have you drive around back to the inspection area...

Oh, SHIT, we're thinking...as we go under the sign that says "It is forbidden to bring plant material..." (BOB!); "It is forbodden to bring fruits and vegetables..." (BOB!)....

We got in, expecting to come out and find the entire contents of the car on the asphalt, durian proudly resting on the top of the pile... They checked our IDs and asked "why did he send you here?"

"No idea!" we answered. They let us go on without another word.

So, I took some durian (well sealed in a jar) to a Cambodian friend in the music dept. at the UW. We opened it in his office. Two minutes later, the secretary comes running into the room, yelling "Oh, my god, it's gotten into the ventilation system, it's coming into my office!"

The next day I still had a couple pieces left. I figured I better eat them before I left the house, so I sort of wolfed them down, and headed out to catch my bus into school. God on, sat in the back. Soon I noticed that the people on either side of me were leaning. Really leaning. Away from me. There were some high school kids on the facing long seats along the windows just in front of the rear row. One of their friends came onto the bus, and as he sat down, one of them said "Hey, dude, don'cha ever change your socks?!" The kid looked puzzled, then said "hey...what's that smell?" We were very close to my stop then, and as I got off, one of the girls half-whispered "God...I think it's that guy!" I fought the temptation to say "Yeah, and it was my breakfast!!!!" :wink:

Whenever I would buy a durin at Viet Wah in Seattle, the checkout woman would more likely than not say "Oh, you gotta Vietnamese wife?" They'd be really surprised when I told them no, it was for me. Regarding the burps - one checkout woman said that the way to eat durian was to drink soda water along with it, so you would get more burps and enjoy the experience longer!

I've tried various durian flavored products; the only one that I did almost like was the ice cream. Worst was the durian-flavored wafers. I bought a big tin of them just cause I liked the tin so much. Then brought the cookies into work and put them out in the kitchen on a plate by the coffeemakers. They all got eaten (!) but several people commented that they tasted weird...

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I grew up eating this fruit in the Philippines. My father was an auditor for the country's biggest drug company - United Labs. He would travel everywhere including Mindanao where they grow the durian trees. Everytime he'd go there, he'd bring a (sealed) crate of those heavenly fruits. My sisters and I would fight over it with my parents, my only brother would try to stay in another room when we would open a fruit.

I could still eat a single fruit by myself. My hubby has bought me durian here in Korea and watches in fascinated horror as I devour everything in a matter of minutes.

I particularly don't like the candy, tastes too processed for me. Although, I'd kill for one of those durian fruit shakes that I had at a beach resort in Davao City (Mindanao), Philippines.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I've tried various durian flavored products; the only one that I did almost like was the ice cream.

Hmmm. There's some durian ice cream sitting in the freezer section at my local supermarket. It caught my eye between the "taro" and "lovely bean" flavours.

I'm working up the nerve to buy some.

On a related note, are durian and jackfruit related in any wzy? They look similar, with their spiky surface. And I love jackfruit- the only fruit that tastes like butter!

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