What’s the obsession with making people eat durian?
Last week, I posted about the Amphawa floating market in Thailand. Although the post was not about fruit, I posted a photo of fruit that sparked a bit of conversation in the comment section. One fruit that is always of interest when talking about southeast Asia was the durian.
A durian is a large fruit with an outside skin of green spikes. I guess the word durian even means “spike.” But most notably, the fruit stinks to high heaven. Like something pungently rotten. A foul stench of a fruit.
However, it is known as “the king of fruit.”
Though I personally don’t think fruit should be gendered and arranged hierarchically.
Apparently it is delicious. And nutritious.
In Canada, obviously I never had a chance to learn what durian was. Even in Japan, I have never seen one here. Only heard about them from other people. Whenever I went to a country in southeast Asia, people would ask me if I tried a durian. Like there is some weird obsession with getting someone who’s never eaten a durian to try it. Maybe just to see/hear about their expression and reaction to the smell. Not sure.
Anyway, I have seen them before in a few different countries in southeast Asia. But I don’t think I have eaten it.
However, I have eaten durian-flavoured things though.
I had durian flavoured hard candies in Vietnam. I couldn’t tell what the flavour was for the longest time, then a few candies later I figured out ti was durian. It wasn’t a terrible taste, but I wouldn’t grant it a crown.
Another time, I bought durian flavoured mini cakes to share with my Taekwondo team. Everybody was a bit apprehensive to try them, but they all disappeared. Again, they weren’t bad, but there was an odd after taste. Still not something I would actively choose over another fruit-flavoured cake.
There is another time in the Philippines where, to this day, I’m not sure what I ate. It was a traditional dish of the Tagbanua people of Palawan. They said it was a type of special fruit, but I couldn’t get the name from anybody. It was a bit white/cream coloured, had black seeds in it, and was an odd texture for a fruit. Sort of creamy. I don’t remember if it stank or not. It may not have been a durian anyway.
Besides that, I have not eaten durian directly.
When I was in Myanmar, I happened to see this pile of of them for sale on the street.
I like patterns when I take photos, and I like this neatly stacked pile of durians. Also the scene of things for sale on the street. (I HDR-ed the photo.)
Of course I didn’t buy one. What am I going to do? But a large stinky fruit off the street, take it back to my room to taste it and find out it’s just so-so, then have it hang out with me for the rest of my trip, stinking up my room? I don’t think so.
I seriously have my doubts about whether it is truly delicious.
Maybe I shouldn’t jump to conclusions without trying it. I understand that just because it stinks doesn’t mean it tastes bad. But is it really so good that it has earned the title “king?” Why not a pineapple, or even a jackfruit?
I guess it might taste okay, but I’m skeptical that it is amazing. Isn’t part of enjoying what you eat the fact that it smells good too? Wouldn’t the stink already put a negative bias in your head before you even ate it? Then when you did eat it you already expected it would be gross? Does it make people feel special to be able to eat a stinky fruit and call it delicious?
Okay, I think I’m just ranting now.
My point is, I don’t understand the obsession with making people eat a stinky fruit. And I have my doubts that a foul-smelling fruit could truly be delicious.
But mostly, I just wanted a reason to share the above photo.
But, I could be wrong. What are you experiences with durian? Is it really, truly, seriously, amazingly delicious? Let me know if I’m wrong! Maybe I’ll try it someday. Comment below! Please teach me about durian.
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