Durian: the King of Fruit. How something with such a name could have such a horrible reputation is beyond me. My quest in South East Asia to find the fruit was difficult due to a poor growing season and being generally off-season. In fact, during my entire three weeks in Malaysia I did not come across the fruit even once, which is surprising based off its relative popularity.
Finally Getting Durian
What I did find in Malaysia was some relatively unique food creations that incorporated Durian into its design. Those include Durian Cream Puff (video in Part 1), Durian Ice Cream, and Durian Chendol (video in Part 2). All things being equal, the cream puff and ice cream lived up to the reputation of being putrid and all things foul. Durian chendol was actually surprising in that the puree of the fruit was the best part of the dish. Keep in mind, chendol by itself is not exactly the most appetizing thing in the world.
Why is Durian so horrible? Well, the fruit is said to smell like all things foul, most commonly rotting animal. The flesh has a rubbery, almost custard like texture, and was equated to eating a sweaty shoe and spoiled cream cheese. It is so bad that it has made Bizarre Food’s host Andrew Zimmern gag on several occasion, and I’m trying it just for fun to see if its true!
As it stood at this point in the quest, the score is tipped in Durian’s favor against Jeremy’s iron clad stomach:
Jeremy’s Stomach: 1
With Singapore being my final stop in South East Asia, it was now or never. Luckily, a tip from my hostel led me to find the prized fruit, at a significantly increased price over Malaysia standards. Does this translate into better taste? Watch below to find out.
For more videos of me being absolutely terrifying while eating some interesting Durian creations, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. But don’t take my response for being the end all of Durian! Get out to your local Asian grocery store and pick one up to try yourself!