« The Popiah Skin Maker's Popiah | Main | Penang's Unsung Noodle »

2007.06.20

Comments

shikin

Ahh durian! I only get frozen versions here in London :¬( The Thai-Msian durian debate continues. The Thais thinks Msians eat rotten durians i.e. too fermented. I take all sorts although I do favour Monthong Durians from Thailand. Thick flesh with small seeds. yum!

Pille

I cannot remember a single positive review about eating durian before, so I had come to the conclusion that it's an exotic fruit I'm not interested in even trying. However, you've made it sound intriguing, at the least - a hint of butterscotch?? But I'll wait until I come across a ripe Malayisian specimen:)

serena

none of my (non-asian) friends believe me when i tell them that durian tastes custardy & vanilla-y, yet the smell has similar compounds (i suspect) to that of pungent cheese. i'm glad you tried the classic combination of mangosteen+durian :) mangosteen is, if anything, even harder to find abroad than durian!

Nate

I think it has to do with what variety you get. D24 has been the popular variety in the past but now there's many more varieties available that taste (and smell) better. Did Dave happen to discover which variety was chosen for you by the vendor?

It took me a while, but I am now able to get past the smell and enjoy the durian for what it is. Still, I don't crave it like some Malaysians, and I'm not that fond of the burps after I'm done.

Regarding the Malaysian/Thai durian debate: Malaysian durian varieties are perfectly ripe when they fall off the trees. Thai varieties ripen before falling and so are picked when most Malaysians would consider them too "green". Both are picked ripe but the Thai versions ship better.

Jennifer Jeffrey

Goodness! Even the photos make me shiver a little. Is it just me, or do they look like small... embryos?

Like Pille, your description marks the first time I've had any interest at all in trying them. But I think I'll wait until I'm in Thailand!

Robyn

Shikin - I think my new, improved palate and I need to give Thai durians another try ... monthong, you say?
Pille - yes, butterscotch or caramel, believe it or not. And what serena said - vanilla.
Nate - thanks for the Thai-Malaysian durian info. I'm immediately suspicious of anything that 'ships better' (makes me think of hard, pink tomatoes in the US). No, we didn't ask which variety of durian the seller picked for us, but will pay more attention to this in the future.
I would not now describe durian as something I 'crave' like some Malaysians do, but it's something I would willingly eat again. Yeah, the burps are a bummer. The strategy there is to follow up soon with another food. Worked for us (that said the weekend in Penang was one long, non-stop meal).
Jennifer - my gosh - I'll never look at durian the same way again!!!! ;-0

Pau-Lynn

Hi Robyn, it's pau-lynn who asked for your help for our anthropology research. I LOVE this entry so much! I have to admit - I pretend to hate eating durian only because eating 1 piece of it = 10 bowls of rice. I shudder each time i think about the amount of 'rice' i'm consuming if i were to eat just one tiny piece! I also love how you explain durian. I've tried explaining to my partner (who's French) by telling him it's just like eating Camembert - he just doesn't want to believe it! So true, durian is like a complete combination of butterscotch, caramel, vanilla and sometimes i can taste a hint of taragon. Don't ask me why!

Annie

Hi Robyn, I normally let Nate do all the commenting but I had to say something this time. I LOVE DURIAN (how do you think I managed to convince Nate to keep trying them till he was no longer repulsed? ^_^) and this post makes me more homesick than anything else you've posted (and that's hard since almost everything you post makes me homesick). I could literally taste and smell the fruit just looking at the pics. Kudos to Dave! Oh, and I looked up durian's nutritional info--it's healthier than rice, only 143 calories per 100g as opposed to 250-300 calories for 100g of cooked rice. But why quibble about health, I just love it for its yumminess!

kris

you have described the taste perfectly! i'll direct any of my foreign friends to this post if they need convincing ;)

ilva

Thanks, now I know how to approach them if I ever find any!

Tina

My goodness. When I opened the page,I nearly drooled. Actually, still am! my hubby who is English, tried it twice as I told him it would be better second time around... apparently not. Think he's given up. Maybe next time we go back to SG, will have to persuade him to try again.

I love reading your blog!

Thank you.

Charmaine

Hello. First time to post here. You've been to the Philippines and didn't get the chance to try the local version? It's generally smaller than the Malaysia version, but the flavor is more concentrated. I don't know if it is smellier though, I think my brain automatically shuts off my olfactory senses. When you have the chance to go back to Davao (I can't remember now if you went...) you should try it. I love how detailed you go into your entries and how passionate you are about food! I hope you keep this up for a long long time.

Robyn

Hi Pau-Lynn - I suppose some pple will never be convinced, everyone has a food or two they just don't like at all. Tripe for me.
Kris - let me know if the post is convincing to other foreigners!
Ilva - how to approach a durian the first time around - with caution. And maybe with your nose plugged. ;-)
Annie - thanks. I do like these photos as well. To add to your comments on durian's healthy aspects - in addition to being relatively low-caloried it is also very rich in vitamins B,C, and E and has a high iron content. More reason not to forgo the King of Fruits.
Hi Tina - thanks. Good luck with that, in Singapore!
Charmaine - we didn't go to Davao. This particular durian was quite small (and Malaysian durians are smaller than Thai). We will be in Manila in a few wks -- will Philippine durian be in season then?

Pau-Lynn

Oh my, healthier than rice hey? Great look what I've been missing out all these years while worrying about how the king of fruits will expand waistline. I guess it's time for another yummilicious durian!

Durian puffs anyone? I make a meaaan batch for my 'por por' (grandma)

Annapurna

Oh, how I adore Durian (yes, it deserves a capital "d")-it was love at first bite. Perhaps because I'm half French and we have cheeses that smell way worse and taste just as good...? Plus, it reminds me of Bangkok--BKK smells like durian and just a whiff of it makes me want to race to the nearest tarmak and take off for SE Asia.
Thanks to you both for letting me go to markets and eat vicariously through you. It's torture, but I'm addicted (and have been for almost a year).
Maia

Mrs Marv

Oddly enough, fresh durians are very easy to come by in Minnesota. About once a year my husband and I will buy one and force people to taste it. We haven't found anyone who would try it and didn't on some level appreciate the taste yet!

rebecca

Hi very glad to see your post. I have lived in China for 6 years and am all about de-mystifying scary Asian foods. Westernerners always pretend to be so cosmopolitan with their understanding of foreign foods but then you introduce them to something challenging an they always say bleh. I think you need to try something at least 5 times and then try some more before you can truly say, "I don't like this." Horray for broadening our culinary horizons.
I just bought at durian today, probably imported from somewhere, after savoring one in Malaysia, it was not ripe at all v. disapointed. Will keep trying though.
Is it true that you're not stupposed to drink and durian ? Or is that just a Malaysian myth?

Robyn

Maia - you're very welcome.

Mrs Marv - durian in Minnesota? Who would have thunk it? Good on you for introducing folks to this uniquely SE Asian treat...

Rebecca - I agree with you in terms of de-mystifying 'scary' Asian foods ... unless it's something like bugs or dog. As I've said elsewhere, we are 'sport' eaters not 'adventure' eaters. I won't eat something simply for the sake of being able to tell my friends I ate it. But if I hear that something is truly, truly delicious (as pple say about durian) then I will make myself give it a go. Obviously, in this case, I'm glad I gave durian a second chance. I like it alot - but must admit that it is about as far from 'fruit' tasting as this Westerner can imagine.

I think the taboo on mixing alcohol (is it just whiskey?) and durian is based on a chemical present in the durian. I don't know if it would kill you, but supposedly will make you sick.

Dave Majzner

There is now a Durian drink available. it does not have the foul smell, but has the benefits of Durian.
www.healthyhomesshop.com

nick chan

malaysian durians are awesome. and the best yet i've tried is the "new version" D101.

Way better than Village/Kampung durians, or D24 or D96. Heavenly. Kinda pricey

We malaysians love our durians, and we love Thai food & people.

nick chan

as for the "malaysian myth" , don't drink and durian, there has been death reported. Maybe hypertension? It would be unlikely to happen, but the possibility is there. The fruit is 'extremely' heathy, along with jackfruit.

denim

A few friends from china told me that they were told by someone in china that once you tasted malaysian durians, you wouldn't want to eat durians from other countries. They came over to malaysia for a 2 week vacation and i brought them to some stalls by the Klebang beach in Melaka City. They confirmed that the claim is true and couldnt help but happily eating as many durians as they could in their 2-day visit.

There i also encountered several Westerners enjoying durians by the Straits of Malacca. Seems that 'acclimatized' Westerners enjoy durian eating very much.

yauma

Dear eatingasia, I lend your photograph about the Durian for my blog, but I assure you that I had given the address and source for the photo. Please check out the page. I also wrote about durian in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Elmar Sandyck

Asia is indeed full of wonders especially on the exotic fruits that are now known to be very healthy. Of all the fruits I have tasted, I love mangosteen the most.

keal

There's a local durian farm here on Maui and apparently theirs are considered the really good type. I tried it once - it was my first experience, and I thought it was stink and tasted like onions. I assume they don't wait for the durians to drop - that they take them off the tree.

A local Filipino mini-mart sells the frozen durians from Thailand. I buy those in the morning, sit them out in the sun, and by early afternoon it's thawed enough to where I can pry the fruit apart with my fingers. If the fruit inside is still partially frozen, it tastes a lot like eating frozen vanilla yogurt! Such a great experience! I eat a couple pieces and store the rest of the pieces in a container in the fridge, eating a couple pieces everyday. One of my great luxuries.

Really the sweetest, best-tasting fruit ever, and more than worth the effort to acquire the taste, in my opinion.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Istanbulandbeyond_Cover_Final
Look Inside and Pre-Order! Also available at Barnes&Noble and Indiebound.
Saveur.bfba.200