I haven’t eaten a great durian yet, but I’ve had durian flavored drinks that I really enjoyed. Sometimes I see them frozen in the asian super markets, but I just don’t trust them to be fresh or of high quality, so I never buy them.

What’s your opinion of durians? Is it possible to get a good tasting durian in a big city like Houston? How do you pick one out?

Do you eat them alone or do you eat them along with something else (cottage cheese perhaps?)

I think they’re okay. If you like the flavored drinks and such that you’ve had, you kinda owe it to yourself to try a real one. The first 2 or 3 times I had it, I enjoyed Durian. It has a sweet taste and a creamy texture… almost like custard w/ seeds. However now I don’t even want to smell one of them. And I think that’s it… it’s the smell that has kept me away since. I won’t describe it here, because i don’t want my particular choice of words to have an influence your experience with the Durian’s bouquet.

I’ve never eaten one that’s been imported, though. I’ve only sampled them locally in Asia, so YMMV w/ respect to domestic USA sources. I also cannot help you choose a Durian from the market, and I’m interested in learning more about them from someone w/ that experience. It might be fun to bring one home for the boys to try.

Try the H Mart
1302 Blalock Rd, Houston, TX 77055

I’ve seen it at my local one.

Shunpiker, I’ll do my best to try and describe the bouquet. Take a pair of wool work socks and wear them in rubber boots for a few days. remove them, add about 250 ml of shredded parmesan to each one, then set them on fire. That’s about as close as I can think of.
Even the word gives me shudders.

I thought that maybe I could get around the smell by buying some durian flavoured ice wafers but no, they tasted utterly nasty. I know they are considered a delicacy but, like Andrew Zimmern, it’s one of the few foods I just can’t eat.

I’ve never liked the taste of durian. Everyone else talked about how sweet they taste, but to me, they tasted like gasoline. I’m convinced there must be a genetic disposition for durian like the one for cilantro tasting like soap.

I agree with the above, there is a hint of old parmesan cheese in the smell of durian mixed in with a general unwholesomeness.

As I’ve reported on this Board before, I brought a durian (TWO durians, actually) to a summer party our friends gave. These parties are extremely bohemian off-the-wall affairs, so a durian, I thought, would fit right in. I was able to pick them up, fresh, in Boston’s Chinatown. As far as I can tell, they were fresh.

The odor wasn’t as bad as I’d been lead to expect, but it wasn’t really lovable, either. I quickly moved my table with the durian downwind. Lots of curious people came by for a taste.
My opinion was that I didn’t understand the high praise a lot of people have for the fruit. wasn’t particularly fond of the taste, or of the rather gloppy texture.

The host came by and thanked me for bringing the durian. And told me to never, never do it again.

Fortunately, I found someone who liked durian enough to take the remains of the first and all of the second uncut one home with him.

Thanks for the info. The durians I’ve smelled weren’t ever as bad as people have described them. I want to get a really fresh ripe one and crack it open and see just how bad it could be!

I’ve never tasted (or smelled) a durian - I looked it up and found this NYT article:

And from the same article, this:

Weirdly, this makes me want to find one and see for myself.

See, I’d vread this sort of thing, too, which is why I was curious.

In my experience

a.) it didn’t smell anywhere near that bad


b.) it didn’t taste anywhere near that good. And I found the texture of the “creamy flesh” kinda disgusting.

Yeah, the durians you get over here don’t smell nearly as rich as when you’re in Asia. Where fancy hotels have polished brass plaques that say please, no durians in the hotel!

Myself, I never cared for them, the smell, the taste, the texture. But my Singaporean friend adored them so we were always seeking them out. After a few trips I can recall coming into a market and when I caught a whiff of durian in the air, I could distinctly smell fruity sweetness for the first time. But it took a lot of exposure before I got it.

Now, I’ll eat the ice cream, or cookies, but still not the fruit. Hubby loves it though!

I once went to a large market in Singapore, that was nothing but durians. Stall after stall, truckloads everywhere you looked. Different sizes and different prices. It was the very height of durian season and the place was packed with people buying durians, tasting them and haggling wildly. Tons of fun, but whew the smell!

So the smell is bad even when they are uncut/uncracked?

Definitely, but many vendors had some open for people to taste, of course.

They smell a bit, but nothing like when they are cut open–especially if they are a little “past due”.

I’ve had freeze dried durian, and I quite liked it. According to a friend of mine who’s been to Vietnam and neighboring countries several times, the durians you get in the US aren’t nearly as good. According to him, it’s best when very fresh and shipping takes too long. Eating a fresh durian is definitely on my bucket list. In fact, it’s the only thing on it, largely because I hate the term “bucket list.” Someone smack me if I ever use it again.

I second all of that.

Before I moved to China, I was fascinated by this fruit. I mean there are descriptions like “It’s like eating raspberry blancmange in a toilet” by a person who liked the fruit!

But when I tried it, it was something like avocado, but somewhat less pleasant because of an onion-y aftertaste.

The smell wasn’t so bad, but it really lingers. And a smell that doesn’t go away, and isn’t pleasant, is unpleasant.

All the durians cakes and candies I generally find even worse than the plain fruit, having pretty much just the nasty aftertaste, plus sugar.

Attach one to a heavy chain and you have an excellent medieval melee weapon.

We once bought durian wafer cookies, hoping it would have the taste without the smell. We were very, very wrong. You know how sometimes you’ll resmell a terrible odor just to make sure it’s as bad as you think? This was so bad one sniff will last me a lifetime. Needless to say we didn’t even bother to eat one.

H-Mart in Houston tends to cater more to Korean tastes. I haven’t seen durian too frequently there.

The major Chinese and Vietnamese markets on Bellaire will probably have them, though. I saw a big cart load at the Viet Hoa off the Beltway not long ago. Thinking more on it, I’ve actually spotted them at some HEBs on occasion.

Actually, if all drewtwo99 is interested in is durian flavored drinks, there’s almost certainly a bunch of small shops in Chinatown or the Vietnamese district that have them. Saves the trouble of having rotten corpse smell in your house.

I once had a durian shake. It was a combination of onions and gasoline. Needless to say, I could only handle two or three sips.

They’re available for purchase at a local Asian grocery. These are kept in the deep freeze, and still smell like old sweaty socks.

I know a woman who is of Filipina descent, and she said she loves it. But she grew up with it.