Saturday, March 8, 2008

Durian fun

Sarah of Living the Fruity Life shared the sweetest picture of her son chowing down on his very first durian and weighed in on the "stink factor".

I was smitten with insatiable curiousity about durian after hearing about followers of Doug Graham talk about spending the durian harvest in Thailand, cycling hundreds of miles a day and monoeating durian. I was intrigued by the pictures and description of the fruit, whose scent was compared to "dog poop" and "rotten garlic." Apparently, while the fruit is wildly popular, it is forbidden from many enclosed places, such as train stations and buses, because of its stink.

I tried searching online for places to find durian in Chicago, thinking that on our annual summer trip, we could locate some. That did not come to fruition, although I did have lots of fun fruit adventures there.

Imagine my surprise when I found durian in Rockford (about half an hour away) in a neat little Asian grocery called The Golden Market. The owner was happy to give me tips on how to open and eat the large spiky creature that reminded me of a medieval weapon.

My first go at durian was quite enjoyable. I found the opening of the fruit challenging, but fun. The scent was noticeable, but not unpleasant. All three kids and I enjoyed the taste and creamy consistency immensely.

I began buying durian every couple of weeks. I soon found that some were more fragrant than others, to my husband's dismay. I soon found the taste and texture, while still pleasant, did not appeal to me as something I wanted to make a meal of. My son now refuses to eat it. But my two daughters are regular durian fanatics, and will insist that I cut them immediately when we buy them, which is impossible because they are frozen rock solid. Have you ever tried to explain to two crying children why you simply can't open a frozen spiky boulder now?!?

Now, for a funny durian story. I went to a conference on local foods with a colleague/ friend at Starved Rock State Park. As a joke, I brought her some durian, which she had never heard of before... partly because it's the antithesis of local food for us, and partly because it was a particularly smelly durian. She has a lot of jokes about smells. LOL! Anyway, we arrived late in the evening and had to eat in the bar. She ate a sausage pizza (the kitchen was closed and all they had to eat in the bar was pizza), and then we broke out the durian. She tried a bite, and I ate the rest.

Soon we noticed one of the patrons who had been seated at the bar talking urgently to the bartender. They then began sniffing around and moving through the room. I overheard their conversation and realized that they were concerned that there was a gas leak. I was amused and embarrassed. I waited for a moment, but as the bartender headed for the phone to call someone in to check the pipes, I 'fessed up. No gas leak; just a stinky durian, I apologized. Fortunately, everyone was polite, even if they thought I was a total freak. LOL!


Lisa, aka Pixywinks said...

LOL! That's funny. I've had the big spikey D a few times. I don't care for the taste, but I do love the texture.

Sarah said...

LOL! I love the durian stories. The frozen durian would definitely make a good weapon. I'm sure it would be an experience that a mugger would never forget...if he jumped a woman with a frozen durian in her bag :)

I typically take food with me to restaurants, but I'd definitely leave the durian at home. I wouldn't have been able to sit there with a straight face while everyone around me was looking for a gas leak.

I've been craving durian the last couple of days. I didn't think this would be a fruit that I craved, just something I would enjoy occasionally. Now I can't wait until we go back to Columbus again, which may not be til spring. We're in the middle of a blizzard right now :(

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe your children like them, mine, the grown and the young, run for the hills! :) I am determined to try it one more time to see if I can discover the durian magic some of you experience. Supposedly, the third time is the charm.

The second time, I just bought some frozen pods, and the smell was not as bad. I sent Suzanne into the store to ask if they had durian. She came running out, gagging and holding her nose. "They must have it," she told me, "the whole store stinks!"

Enjoy your odoriferous fruit!
Big Hugs!

Andrew said...

Lol !

I'm quite new to the raw diet. I believe it said you were "in transition". Is that because the detox side effects are too strong, or because some find it hard to give up all cooked foods right away?

Greenmama said...

Hi Andrew,


I am "in transition" because eating raw means learning to use food as fuel, rather than as one would use drugs and alchohol, to numb one's feelings and awareness of themselves.

I went 100% low-fat raw for awhile, and as I began to experience my emotions and the reality of my life, I began binge-eating junk food.

Now, I am working on healing my emotional issues and personal issues as I transition to 100% low-fat raw again.

You can read much more about my day-to-day journey in my archives.



Andrew said...

Thanks Marjorie.

Emotional is certainly a key aspect of it. I've just started being raw. It seems when I go 100% raw for 24 hours or more I detox. Eat a little cooked food and I instantly feel better than ever (detox stops I assume - and a sign of how great I will feel when fully detoxed). Staying on total raw for now at least. From what I have read so far high raw activates something in us that is very healthy. The weight seems to drop off too when I go total raw.

I hope you don't mind me picking your brains again. Do you know how long it may take before the detox ends? I was hoping for a couple of months if I managed to go total raw.

yardsnacker said...


Made a youtube video about it. So many philipino's got mad at me lol! Maybe now that I've been raw for quite a while, my tastebuds have changed, I've made up my mind to do an anniversary video later.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

That was a funny post.
Thanks for sharing your explanation of what transitioning is. I think a transition can take a very long time if one doesn't deal with the emotional aspects. I am with you and trying to accept myself regardless. But, it is very frustrating. Life will go on and I will achieve my goal, but I guess I should learn to find meaning in the journey, experience it, learn from it and move on. It is the learning, changing and moving on that is hard, emotionally.
Have a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing. Know that your journey is one that many others share and appreciate.
Fruitloop (aka floop at

Lannette said...

Loved your durian stories! :) I have wanted to taste one for the longest time but have been unable ot find one here in the boonies. Even our Asian grocery store doesn't stock them.:(


Sarah said...

We had a similar thing happen at our house, Marjorie! :) We had some friends over and some of us were in the kitchen busting out the durian... and one of them went around our house sniffing, really concerned, because of the gas smell. :)

Great story!!

Anonymous said...

i just tagged you over at my blog ;)

Anonymous said...

Marjorie! Hi, this is Jonathan from POH. I've been thinking of you so I've been reading your blog. I have a durian story: I brought and ate a durian in a recording studio in Brooklyn and someone did call about a gas leak. The officials broke down doors, closed down an entire building, wore masks and were generally quite foul, etc. Perhaps they were imitating their impression of the durian. Unfortunately, the owner of the studio was rather angry with me for having caused this to happen and does not speak to me anymore and I still have yet to receive the recordings I made there. I did not perceive that the smell resembled a gas leak at all. I find it to be a comforting smell. Oh well. I'm very happy that my parents like durian quite a bit. There is a band in Virginia named "Durian."