What is this huge asian fruit?


I lived in Petaling Jaya for a year and could never get over the smell of durian. It must indeed be cultural.

I finally tried it after some of my fellow office workers decided it would be a good food item at my farewell dinner; something I dreaded to try. It is often described as ‘custard like,’ ‘sweet’, etc. I gamely tried it and found it as foul as I’d heard it was. There was an aftertaste that I can still conjure up six years later.

In Malaysian and Thai hotels there was often a room warning that stated that although durian was a local delicacy, many of the guests objected to the odor. Please! Do not bring durian into your room!

Malay fusion food may be the best on earth. Imagine the best Chinese food fused with the fruits and vegetables and spices of the Malay peninsula. This is truly awesome cooking, something we can’t replicate here due to the lack of freshness when goods are transported via air or ship.

So, durian is offensive to me. So what? A Chinese-Malay friend who graduated from the University of Kansas told me that the most offensive American foods were cranberry sauce and root beer. Go figure.

One thing I know most folks here can’t stomach is Vegemite. But then lost of poeple can’t stomach vegemite wicked grin.

Datazack: nice to see another SEADoper! Selamat datang ke forum saya! (and no, I only speak about 8 words of Bahasa Melayu, but I’m trying- Tida apah, abang!)

Actually, it’s not cultural (I suspect) it’s personal. I have many friends who were born and grew up in this part of the world who absolutely hate Durian. Moreso than my mild dislike- and almost comedic.

My suspicion is, it’s like anything, there are those who like it and those who don’t, but given the strong odour and harsh smell it makes the line between like/dislike all the more obvious.

And yes, there’s some WONDERFUL food in this part of the world!

My first day in Malaysia, I bought several durians and when I took them back to my hotel in the Chow Kit area of Kuala Lumpur, the hotel management told me I couldn’t bring them in. But they compromised with me. They told me I could bring in the pulp in containers if I discarded the shells. They helpfully provided plastic fruit salad containers from the hotel kitchen. The hotel had a sign near the door with a picture of a spiny durian with the red circle and slash symbol over it.

Removing the pulp, of course, make the smell that much stronger. I think after several years the room I stayed in still smells of durian. Let me put it this way. I stayed on the 9th floor. Riding up in the elevator, you could start to smell my durians as you passed the 5th floor.

The mystery is solved - and I didn’t even have to go all the way to Chinatown!

I took a quick walk down to the neighborhood Chinese supermarket, and found the fruit in question. It was brown, spiky, huge and lopsided - I have no doubts that this was the fruit Extraneous was describing. It even had its own little red bag, like he said. On the little bag was a label and the label said “durian”.

I tried sniffing it to see if I could detect an odor, but, honestly, I was like half a foot away from the fish counter. This could possibly be the red durian jjimm spoke of, but I guess we’ll never know, because I aint taking that thing home.

Ha, you’d think this would work, but it never did with my roommate’s weird fruits his parents brought us. It would always be “Chinese pear” or “Chinese apple” or whatever. :slight_smile:

Why, Esprix’s next date, of course!

Yeah, but hair that grows where?

Kim Jong Il?

I’m pretty sure they don’t smell till they’re cut open.

Ooh! Custard apples? I love those things! Last time I went to the Gold Coast in Oz, ended up buying a tray with fresh lychees, longans and rumbutans. And the fresh mangos that melt in your mouth without a single fibre. And the pomigranates.

<sigh> Sometimes I hate living in a temperate climate. The nearest things we get are nashii pears.

Impossible - I’m married now. :slight_smile:


Found another, larger store with bi-lingual signage - it read “Thailand Durain”.

They are still brown, and still don’t smell like garbage, but who am I to argue?

Maybe the external stench dissipated during the trip across the Pacific - this boy ain’t going to cut one open to find out what the inside smells like.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:
So the mystery is solved? Thailand Durian. Okay.

As for western food that we in Asia might find revolting…well, I personally can’t think of any but I spent the 1990s in the UK as a student and I found the food bland to the extreme. Sorry, no offense meant. Just my opinion. Coming from a country and culture that insists on chili and spices in our food, I guess it was just cultural shock.

I did enjoy the fish and chips, though. Not healthy but I was a student. It was all I could afford.