Taste Test: Durian


Durian. Its flesh is so stinky that it's banned from some restaurants and hotels. The fruit is native to southeast Asia and has been part of the regional diet since prehistory. It's rich in vitamin C, potassium, and good fats and proteins. In Java, durian is believed to be an aphrodisiac (if you're not sure about this, maybe try one of these durian-flavored condoms!).

19th century British naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace described the taste of durian as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream cheese, onion sauce, sherry wine and other incongruous dishes." Delicious! But be careful not to eat too much durian at once — it is super high in calories and can cause adverse health effects. (Last week, one Malaysian Parliamentarian ate so much durian that he almost passed out at a banquet.)

I've never tried cooking with durian, but this recipe for Laotian sticky rice with durian looks delicious. Will someone try it and let me know how it turns out?

Every installment of Taste Test will explore recipes, the science, and some history behind a specific food item.

Image via Amani Hassan's Flickr


  1. My only experience eating durian was at dim sum, it was cooked into a light flaky pastry. I thought it was delicious. I don’t know how processed the durian was, or if it was relatively unmolested, but what I had was pretty mild. I was expecting something outrageous, as it has such a reputation. The flavors were both of the sweet fruity variety, akin to mango, while at the same time strongly savory, like a good very ripe French cheese. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t so shocked by it. I’m French, and we love us some stinky cheeses.

  2. I once bought a Durian at a little Asian shop in Perth, not knowing what it was. I’d always go there, grab something that looked interesting and then communicate with the shop owners whether to cook it or eat it raw.

    What really freaks one out with Durian is not only the weird smell, but it also has a very strange consistency, unlike anything else I have ever eaten.

    My friend flat out refused to even try it, I ate half of it in two sessions.

  3. “It’s like sitting on the toilet whilst eating your favorite ice cream.”

    – Someone from Blighty I knew who had spent just too goddamn long in Thailand

    1. Haha that statement reflects my thought almost exactly except it’s like “eating sh*t while sh*tting”. I just can’t stand it at all. I have acquaintance who loves it so much that he could eat it instead of meal.

      To boingboing, durian flavour condom? damn you might as well say that you don’t want us getting oral service from our partners.

  4. One I decided that I needed to stop thinking of it as a kind of fruit and instead think of it as some kind of old French cheese, I actually thought it was… well… ok, I guess.

    But a good French cheese would have been better.

  5. My only experience with Durian was when a co-worker tricked me into eating a piece of Durian candy. It was like eating the horrid offspring of a mango and an old tire…absolutely vile, and I pride myself on eating (and enjoying) just about anything (until then). I couldn’t get it out of my mouth fast enough, and the flavor clung to my palate for hours.

    I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, or it’s just that particular candy.

  6. This is one fruit that some Asians won’t eat. There is a good reason why it’s banned in public areas in some Asian countries.

  7. Its one of those foods that for the most part, either like or loathe.

    Plus side to liking it means that you’re more likely to be accepted as somewhat more hip than the average “ang moh” in Singapore and Malaysia

  8. A Moment in Singapore –

    Scene – Bugis mall, just near a supermarket.
    Ex-pat friend: Do you smell something? Maybe a gas leak?
    Me: *sniffs* Nope. Nothing like that.
    Ex-pat friend: I’m sure I smell something.
    Me: They’re selling durian at the supermarket, maybe it’s that.
    Ex-pat friend: It’s not that. This doesn’t smell like food.
    Me: Durian’s not food. It’s durian.

    Turns out it was the durian. My friend had been living in Singapore for over two years at that point…

    1. Yeah, I was thinking that the photo made it look looked like a gigantic insect larva, but fetal pig works for me too.

  9. I was at a very large picnic and a friend was eating one. The fire department was called because someone who hadn’t seen the fruit thought they smelled gas. We took a picture of the fireman with the fruit. I laughed for about an hour.

  10. I lived in Singapore and whenever it was Durian season we knew to stay away from the produce section. That stuff smells like rotten onions soaked in vinegar. And butts.

    I once tried to have the Durian ice cream and it was probably worse than the fruit. Sweet rotten onions is no better than regular rotten onions.

    Anyway, fruit isn’t that good for us anyway. I wonder how much fructose is in Durian? I heard it is very high in calories.


  11. you have to be very careful if you got an stomach ulcer condition/gastritis, i once ate it, and i’m sick for 4 months including post recovery.

  12. I had it while living in Bangkok: on my way up to my appartment, the Thai doorman warned me (knowing I was English) not to drink beer with it, as being so chock full of sugar that (according to him) it was quite common for people who washed it down with beer to end up with fermentation going on in their own gut and basically going “pop”: am sure it was an urban legend, but am just putting it out there, you never know

  13. I’ve lived in Singapore most of my life and was inoculated against the stings and stinks of the durian. I tried introducing it to a few caucasian friends – letting them taste it but not smell it. They said it tasted like custard.

    I think, the smell or the sight of the spikey shell tends to get the better of one’s nerves. Better have them taste it, then leave them to their own devices when their other senses kick in.

  14. @ TheOceaneer • #5 : I had the same experience!

    That candy was awful. It reminded me of the taste that some old-school antibiotics used to leave in my mouth when I was sick as a kid.

  15. my brother brought me one of these atrocities for my birthday.

    smells like sweet athlete’s foot. tastes like…like…onion-y mango custard. by god, it’s weird.

  16. “restaurants and hotels”? The durian in Singapore is banned from *public transport of any kind*.

    And it’s not particularly good, IMHO.

      Ah, durian smoothies at the Saigon Deli down on S. Jackson. The local Asian grocery sells durian vanillawafer cookies …and brief inspection of the ingredients reveals they’re entirely ARTIFICIALLY FLAVORED. But they taste and smell exactly, exactly like the real stuff. Tear a corner off the package and leave it under the sofa in the common room.

      This suggests that eventually someone will hold a city for ransom by threatening to dose a reservoir with thousands of gallons of synthetic Tincture of Durian. Better start eating some now, so you build up immunity.

  17. I bought one a few years ago. I didn’t think the smell was that bad – only took a couple of hours to air the house out afterwards.

    The taste wasn’t amazing, but I loved the texture – I see why people would make ice cream out of it.

  18. I tried durian once. A friend brought it over and we made a big production of it. I happened to have a machete on the wall so we cleaned that off and used it to cut the durian. I actually liked the flavor a lot – as long as you don’t stop eating it, the flavor is pleasant and smooth. Once you stop for even a few seconds, the odor creates a hideous aftertaste of rotten onion and garlic and whatever.

    All told, it was a really enjoyable experience – until the burps set in. Wow, does that stuff cause some nasty burps! It was like the odor of the fruit itself plus some time in your innards.

    Durian: The fruit that keeps on giving.

  19. They sell it at a supermarket near me. It’s kept in it’s own little container, much like an ice cream cooler with a glass top – I always chicken out and keep walking.

  20. Lived in thailand, was always repulsed by the smell, but learned to hold my nose and take a big spoon-scoop of the fruit. Yum!

    1. Is durian even obtainable outside of Asia? I’ve heard it doesn’t travel well.

      You can’t go two blocks in San Francisco’s Chinatown without seeing durian for sale.

  21. Am I the only one confused about how a person can write an article called “Taste Test: Durian” without even y’know… doing a taste test?

    1. Am I the only one confused about how a person can write an article called “Taste Test: Durian” without even y’know… doing a taste test?

      You’re not the only one. :)

      I tried durian in Singapore. Once. I suppose it makes sense, given that some people love the taste while others hate it, that even among those who hate it, the impressions vary.

      For me, the fermented gym sock analogy works best. It had a sort of unpleasant-to-chew texture that matched. But after reading some of the other comments describing other yucky taste sensations, I can definitely see how those might be perceived as well.

      Oh, and for the record: I love all sorts of other “stinky”, pungent, strong-flavored foods. Various stinky cheeses are a particular favorite of mine. For whatever reason, durian just ain’t my brand of stinky.

  22. dculberson, I’m with you on the burps. They sort of sneak up on you. It’s by far the most unpleasant part of eating durian. Well, that and the smell. As a kid I was allowed to eat durian, but not allowed to bring it in the house.

    When I was growing up in Indonesia, the villagers always said that eating a durian seed prevents the awful burps. I can’t vouch for that fact, because I could never bring myself to eat the seed.

  23. They look like the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I wouldn’t sleep next to one!

  24. King of Fruits!

    The smell and flavor of these things haunts me like a bad dream. Thinking about it and looking at that picture I can smell it and it literally has me half gagging.

    I was at a business dinner with the higher ups in Hong Kong a few years back and they served this at dinner. I had heard about them and smelled them at the market from a distance, and was scared of them just from that. The etiquette of this situation demanded that I partake, with a forced smile on my face. I was literally tearing up with every slow, painful bite- it’s like gym sock pudding with notes of rotten cheese, onions, wet dog, and vomit.

    They then left the stinky thing on the table for the remainder of the dinner which lasted hours! My nose never acclimated to the smell, and I’ve never wanted to get out of somewhere worse in my life. Finally the dinner ends, I get out to the van to go back to my hotel (its august, so it is like 105 degrees out), and the van driver is eating a durian with all the windows up when I get in. Needless to say i exited the van in a hurry, and my dinner exited me shortly thereafter.

    I like strong flavors (gin, black coffee, etc) but I will never understand the appeal of these horrible things.

    nightmares, I tell you.

  25. There is this great little Pho shot by me that makes Durian milkshakes. I love it but its so sweet I can never finish one.

  26. I had been fascinated by durian ever since I was young, when I read about it in Tarzan and the Foreign Legion. Never saw it anywhere, though. the ’70s and ’80’s where I grew up were not exactly hotbeds of exotic food.
    Fast-forward to my twenties.
    I’m on one of my first dates with the woman who I will later marry.
    We go to this fantastic Vietnamese restaurant.
    On the menu, I see “durian fruit milkshakes”.
    “Holy shit!” I say. I explain to her my long standing interest via Tarzan, and order one.

    As an aside, I like virtually all food, and never, ever don’t eat food I have ordered at a restaurant. I paid extra for that stuff!

    I had to leave it.
    It was one of the most horrible things I have ever tasted.
    It’s hard to describe how bad it was. Like rotting meat, maybe. A few sips and I was out.
    I firmly believe I might have vomited if I’d forced myself to drink it. Should have tried the nose-holding technique, I guess.
    Needless to say, she was greatly amused.
    I haven’t had the guts to try the fruit itself.

  27. Jakarta, 2004-2005-I brought these home from street vendors on a regular basis and would crack them open with a hammer and chisel, releasing its wonderfully rich, thick, foetid aroma into the apartment thoroughly disgusting my wife and three year-old. The elevator in our building had a courtesy sign not to do this in its enclosed space out of respect for bules (white foreigners). The reward for the brave is a unique. Long live Wallace, long live Durian.

  28. As someone who enjoys a good haggis every year, I think I’m qualified to render an opinion on strange tasting foods. I had some once in LA about 6 years ago. I still can’t get that awful taste out of my mouth.

  29. it tastes better than it smells. i tried some, with great trepidation, one evening on a street corner in bangkok.

    our local colleagues told us that if you drink beer before eating durian, you’ll die. or was it eat durian, then drink beer, then die. all of them were well-educated and level-headed folks, but they all strongly believed this and said they knew someone who died from this very thing the other week! well, i’m pretty sure we drank beer and ate durian and drank more beer, and we haven’t died yet.

  30. When I was younger, my family ate this all the time. They claimed it tasted like custard. It doesn’t.

    Durian smells like a gas leak and has the probably commendable ability to be stringy and gooey at the same time. It is sort of unbearably sweet, but the taste is pretty much unidentifiable.

    It’s a wonderful-looking fruit, with little to offer on the inside. Insert analogy here.

  31. I was in Vietnam a few years ago with a guy who loves Durian. He bought one and we ate it. He said it was one of the best he has had. If did smell, but I did enjoy it, especially the texture. [@smallfry, we had beer soon after and survived the night.]

    It reminds me of two foods, although not on taste.
    Chitlins smell like shit, but taste great… if you can get them past your nose.
    Also, I enjoy sauerkraut but after eating it I want nothing to do with it for about a year. I am the same way with Durian.

    My other Durian memory: the grounds under many Durian trees were roped off in Vietnam. That was done so you don’t die from falling Durian, which I guess happens frequently enough. Yeow!

  32. Being a singaporean, we’re constantly exposed to durians.

    I might not be able to give advice on how to better enjoy it for the first timers. but what i can tell is some durian stuff not to eat.
    * Durian candy or cake, its like a jellybean texture. Really horrid unless you highly love durian taste
    * Fried durian, as its wrapped in some stuff and might turn out savory or another flavor
    * Durian made produce, tastes and quality is varied; usually they use lousy durian by-products to manufacture

    Texture of durian is very varied. Even fresh ones the meat can be hard like cheddar cheese, firm like cream cheese or down right watery like mango flesh.

    Taste wise some varieties can be sweet to down right bitter sweet. If it tastes sour, its gone bad.

    Color of durian flesh can be from pale white to yellow or even dark yellow/orange. Most of the durians are yellow fleshed.

    Not a good idea to store durian in cars, boot or fridge; the smell might be nice, but day after it would turn into a stinking smell.

    Maybe a good way for first timers to try durian is to have it chilled (ok risk stinking your fridge) I’ve seen frozen durian back in Australia, but i didnt try it so i cant comment on it. But chilled durians is a popular way of enjoying it in Singapore.

    Would suggest going to a reputable restaurant or cake shop which specializes in durians, as their durian products would be of certain standard. Like in Singapore, more popular durian products are like durian puffs, durian cakes or durian paste.

    After having durians and old method is to add water + salt into the durian husk and drink abit of the liquid to “cool down” and also wash your fingers after to help get rid of the smell.

    If you can get pass the smell and enjoy the taste of durian, i would suggest going for XO or D24 variety. Its highly enjoyable with a slight bitter and sweet taste.

    How we choose durians is based on touch and feel of the flesh, light and creamy feeling and not too hard or too soft and squishy. Most important in durian is never judge the taste based on the color of the flesh. I’ve ever had some very potent XO tasting durians which were pale white in color.

    Dont take durian with hard liquor, as durian’s “heat” added with hard liquor might cause some injuries eg nose bleed or heart attacks?

    Hope my 2 cents worth might help someone enjoy durian in future =)

    1. Thanks, Anon, for writing a durian primer like only someone who has lived in Southeast Asia could! :) I grew up in Indonesia and love durian but I live in Canada where most people, including my husband, don’t appreciate the smell so I can’t enjoy it as much as I’d like to.

      I personally don’t think that the smell of durian resembles the smell of onion at all. But this comes from someone who thinks that pepperoni/pepperette smells like sewer…

  33. I’ve always thought durian smelled like pus; like some kind of infection.
    The worst part is that after eating it, every dead thing or hot garbage dumpster you smell in the street will remind you of it.
    Oddly, there is a really pleasant tropical scent mixed in – it’s more present when you heat it.

    @Blue #13:
    I remember seeing something about someone working on breeding out the stink. The people who really like durian don’t like it without the stink, though, and don’t buy it.

  34. Here in So Cal durian is easy to come by – so we’ve been able to try it many times. And as someone mentioned above, the experience is indeed something like a hot-dumpster mixed with lovely tropical over tones.

    in order to prevent the smell from taking over the entire house, they say you need to dispose of your leftovers as you would dispose of a dead body – wrap it up tightly in a garbage bag, drive it thirty miles away and throw it off of a bridge.

  35. Durian’s pretty easy to find in any major city with an Asian population; I’ve bought them in Boston’s Chinatown but I’ve seen them in supermarkets in Cincinnati Ohio.

    The “rotting onion” analogy is best; when freshly opened, there’s a waft of something odd, but not really offensive, and the sweet almond/vanilla custard of its fruit makes it easy to ignore.

    But after just a few hours, the leftovers start to smell like the worst garbage heap you’ve ever run across. Like standing behind a garbage truck in August. Horrible.

  36. Durian…Smells like hell, tastes like heaven.

    I love the stufff after first trying some in Bangkok thirty years ago. The smell will keep just about anybody away while you eat it in peace.

  37. I agree that it tastes very different (sweeter) than the way it smells, but Oh, the burps. The burps from eating this fruit tasted exactly like the fruit smells… only slightly concentrated. This was a late-afternoon snack and I was still burping the noxious fumes approaching midnight (and this is after a huge bbq dinner).

    There’s a huge asian grocery store here and they only sell it frozen. It’s triple wrapped in cling-wrap, a hard plastic box, then cellophane and you can still smell it in your freezer.

  38. Apparently if you eat the stuff long enough, and most addicts do, you start to smell Duranian too. I’ve seen “No Duran Eaters Allowed” signs all over the place in Taiwan.

  39. I was really interested in trying durian when I read about it, but living in Texas, I haven’t ever seen one, even in Oriental markets.
    I must say, I’m fairly adventurous when it comes to food, and have lived in abroad, in the Middle East and Europe, and visited quite a few countries and tried local food.
    But when I saw, in an episode of Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern’s reaction to durian and heard him describe the smell/taste/texture as “rotting onions”, when I saw him unable to take a second bite, my desire to ever put durian in my mouth was extinguished.
    If professional gastronaut Andrew Zimmern won’t eat it, then neither will I.

  40. All the asian markets around here (Wash, DC Metro) have them, and most Vietnamese restaurants offer Durian smoothies (with optional tapioca bubbles). I find it delicious, though my daughter won’t ride in the car with me if I’ve had an afternoon smoothie. Gave one to my boss at a holiday party but I think they assumed the smell meant it had gone bad and tossed it.

  41. I compare the eating of durian to that of soft ripe cheese, in that the stink of either is strong enough to deter most first-timers, but once you get used to it, the smell wafting across the room becomes (to me at least) rather intoxicating in a very nice way.

  42. I came from a country where Durian is so abundant that it makes me sick and, believe it or not, I have not even tried it for once. As much as I wanted to try out of curiosity, I just can’t get pass the repulsive smell. During my childhood, when I was in Jarkata, I remember Dunkin Donuts served donuts with durian flavour. That’s the reason why I never had donuts while I was there.

  43. As I understand it, you can’t get FRESH durian in the States, only frozen (and then defrosted), which severely damages the taste and texture.

    There’s nothing like standing on the side of the road at a local stall slurping up durian with your friends. You just have to make sure that everyone in the same car eats it. It reeks out your pores like garlic, only 1000x stronger.

  44. Nobody has mentioned the *real* smell of Durian — a public gents toilet that is often used but never cleaned.

    Actually, it doesn’t taste too bad. I had a malaysian gf in London that loved it. She was very strict about disposing of every scrap of waste, outside the flat, instantly after eating it.

    The taste is nothing like the smell. I wasn’t a fan, though.

  45. If you want a custard like fruit that tastes good,
    try a paw-paw (Asimina triloba).

    They don’t ship or keep well, but they grow in many places in the eastern US. They ripen around late
    August and early September where I live.

  46. I have an unopened bag of durian candy that I bought at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. They don’t allow durian into the airport, but the gift shops are full of durian chips, candy, dried durian, you name it. It’s triple bagged in thick plastic to prevent the smell from getting out, and I believe each candy is individually wrapped beyond that. It’s like HAZMAT gear for food.

    I only had durian once, it had been frozen and it was terrible, actually worse to taste than to smell. No one, even experienced durian eaters, was happy with the frozen stuff.

    1. Somebody told me once that all Durian that enters the US has to be frozen (USDA regs?) so it’s never going to be the same as what you get in Asia. Which frankly makes no difference to me, that stuff’s nasty either way. “Like eating custard in the loo”, they say.
      But for a TRULY disgusting experience look to the Durian’s cousin the Jackfruit. Blorf.

      1. [quote]
        But for a TRULY disgusting experience look to the Durian’s cousin the Jackfruit
        I think you ate the wrong fruit. Despite strong resemblance to Durian, Jackfruit doesn’t taste nor smell anything like Durian. It doesn’t have strong aspect that of Durian. Whether you keep it in fridge or kitchen cabinet, Jackfruit’s smell won’t stay. Quite frankly, I enjoy eating it. But, Durian, no amount of money could convince me eating it. lol

        1. Agreed. Jackfruit is my best favourite fruit. I even prefer it to mango, although it has to be said that mango is utterly wonderful!

  47. They have it at the Asian market where we get coconut milk beverage. The fruit’s not cut open, so I don’t get the aroma part. I just like bringing durian products to con parties, like durian wafers, wrapped durian candies, and durian chips. They have durian cream cookies there now, but I have no upcoming event so I didn’t get any.

    The leftover candy from the party I took and put on a table in the con suite at Boskone. Unfortunately, idiots kept removing the packaging, which I put next to it so people would know what it was. What’s the point of eating durian candy if you don’t know what it is?

  48. My favourite fruit!

    On stinkiness: The smell is strongest on durians that have been allowed to ripen on the tree. A day or two after it falls to the ground the fruit is ready for eating.

    There are many varieties but durians are often grouped into the Malaysian type (thin pulp, maximum flavour) and Thai type (fleshy pulp, less flavour). The D24 and XO types are Thai/Malaysian hybrids, combining strong flavours and large edible bits.

    In Thailand durians are often picked while unripe, leaving the afficionado with an unsatisfying, crunchy and mostly tasteless object. Thai fruits are exported frozen to Australia where they can be found in mainstream supermarkets like Woolworths. Frozen Malaysian and Thai varieties can also be found at Asian supermarkets.

    The seeds and thorny skins respond well to composting, particularly if they have been frozen.

  49. I have tried durian a number of times. However I believe I have always had the bad luck to get bad fruit. It never smelled terribly bad. And alas, it never tasted very good. As mentioned in the article (and anywhere else that you may happen to see durian discussed) durian is supposed to smell terribly bad, but taste pretty good.

    Well, maybe some day . .. … ……..

  50. They sell it in Seattle, on Jackson st, at the Viet Wah supermarket. I have eaten a few. Fresh, dried, in various candies, etc. I don’t really like it that much, but people that come to visit from places where it’s unobtainable always want to buy one. This leaves me sampling various products with some regularity. I would never buy it myself as the fruit is somewhat expensive and has to travel such a long distance to get here, that and it’s horrible.

  51. @Blue “why can’t they breed the stink out of it?”

    THe stink is mercaptans, once you make a mercaptan-less durian than I think you something more akin to a “custard apple”. And I believe once you take the stink out of mercaptans you just have alcohol (thus the fermentation risk)…or at least i remember from Organic Chemistry that I had to do a do-over some 15 years ago.

  52. What a coincidence. I’m eating durian right now (the wife being away for a couple days). Frozen durian meat, easily found in Chinatown, is less risky than buying a whole durian (nothing breaks the heart like buying a durian, opening it and finding it’s not ripe enough) , and almost as tasty.

  53. I remember reading last year that some scientist had grown odorless durians, and the general consensus of opinion was, “What’s the point?”

    British novelist Anthony Burgess (author of A Clockwork Orange and The Malayan Trilogy among others) once wrote that eating durian is “like eating sweet raspberry blancmange in the lavatory.” I prefer to think of it more like eating sweet raspberry blancmange out of a toilet. It is the most pungent smell that you will ever experience in your life (which is why it’s forbidden on public transportation in Singapore), and the taste is not much different.

    I’ve only ever been able to take two bites at a time and that’s it; for hours afterward, the smell and the taste lingered and I was trapped in a haze of nausea. Though durian can be bought year-round now, it still does have it’s abundant seasons, and when these come around, you can’t get away from the smell.

  54. The smell is something you pursue, once you taste the fruit.

    There is not just one sort of taste, some are a little bitter, some a little sweeter, the variety is truly wonderful.

    That one in the photo is a good example of how a good one looks, ‘meaty’ with nice yellow color.

    As much as I love this fruit, the smell is still overpowering if you have a few inside the cabin of your car as you drive home.

  55. Know it well from reliable first hand stories and my own experience. An excellent Durian can only be described as having all the ambience of an open sewer on a very hot summer day! Since I have never taste-tested a sewer, I can only say that I assume the experience would be much the same as Durian.

  56. Living in southern China I hated the smell at first, then grew to enjoy the smell, but could never get over the horrid taste.

  57. I had it once when I lived in France. I was so used to eating cheeses that smelled awful, but tasted great that I didn’t mind the smell of the durian at all. Would eat again.

  58. i’m from philippines particularly in davao city..
    the fruit is the city’s pride!

    and i love durian.. i love the smell and taste..
    people who dont like the durian are dumb because durian is so delicious especially if we turn it as a shake!

  59. I had a durian shake made at a Vietnamese restaurant, recommended by my Vietnamese girlfriend. The shake tasted like week-old roadkill skunk put in a blender with a bit of sun soaked urine found in a waterbottle on the side of the highway. Sorry.

  60. durians are awesome. an acquired taste, but awesome.

    i used to buy a plate of them and walk through the night markets in singapore… fond memories :)

    jackfruit rock too!

  61. Fresh-cut durian does smell awful but really does taste good, very vanilla-ey; it was a good follow-up to a plate of fried frog’s legs at Newton Circus in Singapore. Like weirdingway, it’s not surprising that my good experiences with durian are tied to fond memories of Singapore.

    On the down side, someone once squirted me with durian juice from a squirtgun, giving me one of the most annoying chemical burns I’ve ever had.

  62. I went to university in Thunder Bay, Ontario and I don’t think there are 20 people in that city who know what durian is.

    One day we had a lecture that was considered mandatory, which happened to fall on the same timeslot as beer-drinking time. So we split a durian, shoved it into the HVAC of the wing, and enjoyed our beers as the whole wing was shut down due to “suspected gas leak”. Wasn’t reopened for days.

    That was the best durian I ever had.

  63. Whole durian that’s eaten outside of SE Asia is usually a particular low-smell, low-flavor variety that is then frozen for the plane trip. This freezing ‘kills’ the outer skin, halting the visible portion of the ripening process (which is still going on inside), and eliminating 90% of the already low smell. Advanced durian eaters suggest that it’s impossible to tell ripeness of a durian that has been frozen in transit, and that what we are getting are very bland examples at best that are often either rotten or pre-ripe. Safer to get the frozen meat.

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