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!