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Tuesday, 05 August 2008

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kat

No Durian story but I love what Sammy said with his expression..."Daddy, did you poop in your backpack?" LOL

liver

Brought some durian over to my mother-in-law's place, and was amazed by how awful it smelled in her small apartment. We ate the durian quickly, then disposed of the waste down the trash chute. However, the "rotting sewage" smell lingered. A few days later, the smell was still there -- then the cleaning lady located the source with a scream. Turns out my mother-in-law absentmindedly left in a kitchen drawer a piece of fish divided from a Costco mega-pack. It's interesting that days-old fish rotting at room temperature smells very similar to fresh durian!!!

Trent

That's so cool that you got fresh palm sugar! Did they have palm wine or vinegar, too?

Omar

Kirk,

My wife and I were in a dodgy street in Singapore, leaving a KFC (which is apparently the fried chicken of choice throughout Asia).

As we walked, a stench hit my nose: rotted flesh, I thought, and I cautioned my wife that there might be a dead animal nearby. We turned the corner and found a man unloading a large pile of ripe durian onto the sidewalk - AND PEOPLE WERE LINED UP TO BUY IT.

From that first exposure, I understood the sign in our hotel offering to fine us if we brought the fruit into our rooms.

Is a taste for durian bizarre? No more so, I think, than my people's craving for jameed, a type of salted dried goat milk used to make the wonderful dish "mansaf". It's all in what you're used to.

Best,
Omar

Mansaf:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansaf

penny

Wait Kirk, did she lock the durian up so that the kids wouldn't eat it all or so that she could lock them up in the closet with the durians there as punishment?
I remember the one time my uncle opened one in my grandmother's apt. and it was AWFUL. good times.

Omar

Kirk,

My wife and I were in a dodgy street in Singapore, leaving a KFC (which is apparently the fried chicken of choice throughout Asia).

As we walked, a stench hit my nose: rotted flesh, I thought, and I cautioned my wife that there might be a dead animal nearby. We turned the corner and found a man unloading a large pile of ripe durian onto the sidewalk - AND PEOPLE WERE LINED UP TO BUY IT.

From that first exposure, I understood the sign in our hotel offering to fine us if we brought the fruit into our rooms.

Is a taste for durian bizarre? No more so, I think, than my people's craving for jameed, a type of salted dried goat milk used to make the wonderful dish "mansaf". It's all in what you're used to.

Best,
Omar

Mansaf:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansaf

nhbilly

The new fragrance by mmm-yoso.

Dee

Here's my durian story: I was in Kuala Lumpur with a bunch of kids, and after a long day of sightseeing, our chaperones decided to take us to an ice cream parlor. Our excitement quickly turned into disgust when we caught the scent of the overwhelming smell of durian ice cream as we walked through the door! I think a lot of us tried a sample out of curiosity, but not one person bought a scoop!

Chris

I don't understand why everybody claims durian smells so wretched. I find the smell intoxicating and compelling. I've never been around fresh-off-the-tree durian though, only the ones sitting in various Asian supermarkets. As soon as I enter the market I can smell the delicious durians...

I ate my first durian when I was 25. My girlfriend had eaten them throughout her life and every time we were in an Asian supermarket I would suggest purchasing one, but she would always tell me that I won't like it. After a year or so, she relented and I purchased some frozen durian. It was one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted. The next day I purchased an entire durian and cracked it open and feasted on it throughout the day. My girlfriend was aghast and claims one durian should feed 10 or so people. I recommend letting the durian crack on its own and then eating, instead of forcing it open like I did which makes the flavors even more wonderful. I think it is nature's ice cream since it is so creamy and delicious.

Kirk

Hi Kat - I'm sure the scent lingers on...as Sammy will stop by the backpack every so often.

Hi Liver - That is funny....so the rotten fish odor, was really from rotten fish!

Hi Trent - We didn't see any, but we didn't ask either...I'm sure they have it.

Hi Penny - It was so it wouldn't "disappear in the night"...they are a durian loving family.

Hi Omar - No it is not strange...and yet it is.....personally I think "putrified mucous discharge from a cow's intestine" is kinda strange as well.

Hi Billy - Yes, essense of Durian.

Hi Dee - You know, I love Durian ice cream...Conching has a good version.

Hi Chris - I understand why people complain about the scent of Durian...it is the sulpher compounds found mostly in the outer rind of the Durian. Sensitivity to these compounds goes across race. Still, it doesn't prevent Durian lovers(like us) from eating it...as with such items as Kusaya, Cho Doufu, and such. I'm sure you've heard it many times..."the smellier the food, the better." I've evne been told, "if the durian doesn't smell bad, it's no good". BTW, durian should be eaten within 3-5 days of being picked...this is why it's very hard to find fresh durian, and the flavor in the frozen stuff has faded. After having fresh durian, it's really hard to go back to eating the frozen stuff, it just doesn;t measure up. BTW, since you love "eau de durian" so much, you should get your hands on some Tempoyak.

Christine D.

Haha, if Sammy gives you that look again, you should point to the Missus!

Chris

Hi kirk I wanted to say that I also enjoy durian flavor. I purchased something from Ranch 99 called "fermented preserved bean curd". In a jar just under $2. Is this what is commonly called "stinky tofu?" (because it is)I want to try this but am not sure how to go about preparing it. Any tips would be helpful as it is stinking up my refridgerator.

Sandy

I think I've mentioned my durian story before, so humor me. We were at my sister-in-law's house for a celebration, and I was divvying up what was left of a sheet cake. There was a not-so-pleasant odor, and I wondered if there was an issue with the sewage line at the house. Turns out the cake had durian and strawberry filling. I had eaten cake with strawberry filling, and I assumed the durian side was peach.

I have never had fresh durian, but I'm willing to try it. However, if canned/frozen durian was this odiferous, I can't imagine how, uh, fragrant, the real, fresh fruit must be!

Kirk

Hi Christine - So that's how you do it, huh? ;o)

Hi Chris - The fermented bean curd you purchased is not like chou Doufu...it is used as a dipping sauce for Hot Pot and stir fried with veggies - much like fermented shrimp paste. It's pretty sour....but nothing like Taiwanese stinky tofu.

Hi Sandy - You know, Durian has that custardy flavor...it's hard to understand why it stinks so much...but I guess it evolved to protect itself...after all, all the good stuff is around the fruit's ovaries! Fresh durian is amazing, as was the dragon fruit and longan like I've never tasted before...and our neighbors even had a tree!

Sandy

Chris, the fermented preserved bean curd shouldn't stink up your refrigerator if you keep the lid on the jar. This isn't the same thing as "stinky tofu" that was mentioned earlier. If you're stir-frying leafy vegetables such as spinach, add about a cube or less of the fermented tofu. It has a rather pungent flavor so I usually avoid taking this sort of food to work.

Porta Rickin Rick

The Durian Story

After seeing many stories about the horrid smelling Durian on the travel channel, I knew what to stay away from. While traveling through SE Asia with my younger sister (who had already been over there for 4 months), we found some fresh jackfruit in Chiang Mai (Thailand) that was delicious. Later that evening, my vegetarian, know-it-all-about-fruits-and-vegetables sister wanted to buy a "jackfruit" from a man who had a whole cart, but he would not sell it saying "no jackfruit, durian." over and over. She was frustrated and confused by the language barrier, so I tried to explain. She responded by explaining that they must be the same thing and that durian is just a more mature version of the jackfruit (hence the larger bumps on the outside).
About a week later in Siem Reap we found a nice group of ladies at a fruit stand who were willing to give my young sister a tutorial on fruits of SE Asia including a taste test of fresh jackfruit and durian. The "told-you-so" was not nearly as gratifying as the look on her face when she realized that they were, indeed, very different.
Later on our trip, in HCMC (Saigon), we bought some little sweets from one of the markets and my sister discovered that one contained durian. The look on her face after taking a big ol' bite...priceless! All she said was, "Don't eat that one, it has durian in it."

Kirk

Hi Sandy - What, no dried squid in the toaster oven at work! ;o)

Hi PRR - You taught her, didn't you? Too bad you weren't able to capture the look on your sister's face...that would have been quite a souvenir!

elmomonster

I think the smell of durian is GLORIOUS! In fact, they need to make a durian perfume. I'd buy it. And then squirt it on my enemies.

Kirk

Hi Elmo - LOL! Another order for Eau de Durian....

Rachel

Aha! Nothing starts a multi-cultural discussion faster than mentioning the word "durian". I loved your durian story. I have two one is mine and the other a Malaysian friend's.

I was walking with my mum past a car one day in a multi story carpark in Singapore and suddenly this guy sidles up to me, looking shify and hissed, "Psst want to buy some durian? Very fresh! Just from Johore ( a state in Malaysia)" He then motioned for us to follow him. I can't believe my mum did! a couple of rows away, he popped open the trunk of a old '80s sedan and there were heaps of durian complete with a weighing scale to one side. My mum sniffed that they looked small and he offered to open one then and there for us to sample. We ended up not buying any that day but I will always remember the "durian dealer" in the Katong Carpark :)

My friends story: This friend is actually an aussie but married to a malaysian wife. He is a durian person and one day brought some durain candy to the office. He cracked the tube open and was sucking it when a maintenance guy came in and started looking up and down and saying everyone should evacuate the office as there was a gas leak! He went red faced but could not bring himself to admit that it was actually durian candy !

I agree with chris that durain is natures ice cream. I don'
t particularly crave for it but if there is some about I will have a seed or two. I don't find the smell particularly bad at all! It smells sweet to me :)

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