Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wild Red Durian fruit grown in Indonesia. Taken by National Geographic Photographer Tim Laman

Red Durian Fruit

Red Durian Fruit Tree

Durian Fruit

Durian Fruit at a Farmers Market

Durian Fruit Tree

Watch out for falling Durian sign

No Durians allowed sign

Durian Fruit Banned

No Durians allowed in cars

The Durian Fruit | 榴蓮|榴莲 |(Low Lin) is something you either love or hate there's no inbetween. Marco Polo used to eat this fruit during his travels through Asia and fell in love with it; agreeing wholeheartedly with it's nickname "The King of Fruits".

I once gave this fruit as a gift to a Produce Manager for a large grocery chain and while getting on a plane he was stopped for what security thought was bomb in his carryon. It was a good thing he had a sense of humor or I may have lost his account.

The Durian has a hard exterior shell with spikes hard and sharp enough to do some serious damage. It is a heavy fruit and the best type to eat is the "Golden Pillow" variety.

The outer shell starts to crack when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat and has an delicious aroma I love. Though most of the world disagrees with me and considers the aroma to be more of a stench.

This fruit is banned from being eaten in many public places in Asia including Airplanes, and Shopping Malls. Usually family members are banished to the garage or backyard to eat this delectable fruit so the aroma will not linger in the house.

Once while travelling through Saigon with my wife I played a trick on her and put a spoonful of Durian in her mouth she thought was ice cream. It was so funny as she tried to immediately spit it out but with servers standing all around our table she was forced by etiquette to swallow it all instead. Very funny, though I paid for it later.

The best quality fruit is harvested within a couple of days of being ripe, put on a plane in Bangkok and flown overnight to North America. Due to air freight this is not a cheap fruit to purchase usually running about $25 - $40 each. Cheaper fruit is available at about half the cost which has been picked, flash frozen, and sent by ship instead. Of course it does not compare in quality or flavor to the fresh product.

If you get a chance to try this fruit I would recommend trying the durian ice cream first. It is much easier to enjoy and is not as over powering as the fresh product can be. If you like the ice cream then move onto the real thing, but take it slow and easy. Durian will last for several days in your fridge so you don't have to eat it all at once.

It is ready to eat once the shell cracks open of it's own accord and starts to emit a nice aroma. LOL! The fruit is in sections and look almost like giant yellow lima beans and has the texture of pudding or a ripe banana.

I believe in trying everything in life at least once or you become an old dog. So give it a try, you might just love it. Available at Asian grocery stores and supermarkets in the produce department and frozen food section.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for such an informative write-up about a fruit which I knew nothing about until recently. Pictures do justice to the text.


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