Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Durian - "The King of Fruit" ....FINALLY!

Yesterday my daughter's wish came true. Probably way back in November we read about durian "King of the Fruit" - and ever since she has wanted to taste it. I've never been brave enough. A month or so we found some dried durian "chips" and I thought that would satisfy her. It didn't. She still wanted to taste one fresh (well as fresh as you can get it in the USA - which means frozen fresh).

So whenever we'd walk past the frozen whole durians at the store she'd comment how she'd still like to taste one. A frozen whole durian costs about $1.60 a lb and they are quite heavy. A hard spiky shell on the outside, a seed on the inside - and you end up paying for a lot that will go to waste. So it was partly the cost that kept me from buying one for us to try.

Today we were looking at the durians as usual when dd piped up excitedly "Look!" It was a package of frozen fresh durian out of it's shell. One pound packages cost $3.89. I decided we could buy one.

When we got home - I left the durian in the garage to unthaw (and to keep the odor from penetrating the entire house). I noticed the cashier put the packaged durian in a sep. bag from the rest of the groceries and triple bagged it. She knew.

The durian came in a hard plastic lidded container that was wrapped in plastic. Inside were 2 "rolls" of durian wrapped in plastic wrap. Even with all the wrappings and inside the container, you could smell it. Not a nasty bathroom smell (as some folks claim) - but rather it smelled like onions. Strong onions.


After supper tonight I reminded the girl about the durian and we, along with little brother, went out to the garage. I brought my camera, notebook and 3 spoons. Dd was so eager for the "unveiling". She takes a whiff, "Smells terrible!" But she bravely takes some into her mouth. Her verdict was, "Tastes like onion pudding...not all that great but still glad I tasted it!" "Yuck". That was the verdict of her doll Rosie, who also had a taste. The boy disappeared inside - he was not brave enough to take a chance on "onion pudding."

I was scared too. But I tried it. It was sweet and fruity but oniony at the same time. It wasn't nasty - unless you think onions are nasty. Not my idea of a fruit flavor - but I've definitely tasted worse things in my life. The consistency was very creamy and it still had some ice particles in it - so it was almost like durian ice-cream, albeit with stringy bits inside.

So now it's done. No more requests for a whole durian. No more wondering how bad it smells or tastes. The mystery is solved. I'm glad we did it. It might sound wasteful, but it's all in the name of science and education you see, but the rest of it ended up in the garbage can. It's not something you can really keep in the fridge to eat later in the week, and even if it could - who would eat it?

6 comments:

Mrs. Mordecai said...

You are a brave, brave woman.

Edi said...

well I didn't feel very brave...I almost let my daughter be the sole taste tester in this case.

Monica said...

My sister lived in Thailand for a while and warned me about this fruit. I'm beyond impressed that your children would give it a try. Is it true that if it's not prepared correctly it is poisonous?

Edi said...

I've read that eating an excessive amount can be poisonous - but I don't know if that is true or not...no chance we'd run into the problem of excessive durian eating around here.

Also read the seeds can be poisonous...

LeeAnn said...

Came to check out your blog via your comment on my WFMW post on lost/misplaced kids...

Does your family watch the travel channel? We love "Bizarre Foods" you'll definitely find some exotic eating there! My teenage aged son and I also like "No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain" but it's not quite as G-rated.

I'm impressed that you tried the durian! I might actually be more inclined to try it after reading your review...

Edi said...

Haven't watched "Bizarre Foods" or the other show. Both kids enjoy watching various cooking shows...not too sure if they actually enjoy watching it - or just enjoy getting to watch more tv! I think dd does probably enjoy watching what is being prepared on "America's Test Kitchen".