If you ever have been at an Asian market store you have probably seen many exotic fruits that aren’t available at your traditional American supermarket. One of those fruits is Durian. It looks like a large porky pine with sharp pricks that can easily hurt you. Some refer to it as the King of Fruit because of its vanilla custard-like flesh.
Durain is especially popular in the raw food community. Many famous raw food chefs, book authors or educators rave about Durian. Some absolutely think it’s the BEST fruit in the world. I was first introduced to Durian at the NYC Raw Food potluck in September. Hesitant to try it I took a little bite and somewhat liked it. It was pretty frozen and the flavor was not as pronounced.
Well, I figured to buy the whole thing and introduce my family to Durian this Thanksgiving. As I was pulling it open, I started noticing the strange smell coming from it. I tried to not let it bother me until I put a nice piece of custard in my mouth. Boy, was that bad! The smell and taste were just like yellow onion. Worse – rotten onion!!! Yuck! It was as if someone made vanilla custard and added a tablespoon of onion powder to it. Really, it was THAT BAD!
I’ve seen video reviews on Durian from other people and they usually warn that there is some stink but as long as you close your nose and just eat the custard, you should be fine. Let me tell you, even if I had sinus congestion, I wouldn’t have been able to deal with the stick. How do people think of Durian so highly, I have no idea. Even after putting in my Vitamix with some agave nectar and vanilla extract, I was not able to mask that foul smell. So I ended up throwing the whole expensive Durian out. Then I opened the windows so the onion-like fragrance would escape.
Watch my video review with Denzin for more reactions from the scene. Denzin’s face would pretty much tell you what he thought of Durian. Unless I had a “bad” durian, I don’t think we’ll be eating any of this fruit anytime in the future.
Copyright © 2010 Zoe V. All Rights Reserved
You made several errors and thus misspent your money.
One must research, sometimes a LOT, before one jumps in. When one has no idea, the best thing to do is to inquire of someone who knows better. The folks at the Asian market might have explained to you, had you but asked.
1. If you buy the fruit frozen, it MUST be defrosted underwater to prevent the stench of the fruit from developing and permeating your house. In parts of Asia, the fruit is disallowed from public buildings.
Should you decide to try again, defrost it in a large bowl of water making sure every bit of the fruit is covered completely by liquid.
2. Once it has completely defrosted, which can take some time, you must inspect it (yes, throw out the water to your garden or down your drain) for pinholes. These pinholes are created by boring insects which can ruin the taste of the fruit. If you find these pinholes, return the fruit to the grocer and start again.
Anyway, only after the fruit has completely defrosted, is when you can open it and find the heavenly taste which is Durian.
To recap, inspect the fruit thoroughly prior to purchase, defrost covered by water (at least overnight) in the fridge or a similar cool place; slice open; remove the flesh and get rid of the rind.
This is when you will find the goodness and at no other time.
Better luck next time and please remember to ask how before you misstep again.
thanland . somtime we blend whole durian and boil together with coconutmilk .May use seed with fruit 1 or 2 seed together .toping durian mix on stickey rice .yummy we call ‘kowneaw durian dessert.
Durian is great! I ate it when visiting Thailand, it was fresh and the onion-like smell was mild and pleasant, i don’t know why your Durian was so horrible, you didn’t even comment on the taste?
Durian? Did i hear durian??!!! My mouth is already watering! We lived in Asia for 15 years and LOVE durian. It is the King of Fruit. 🙂 You either love it or hate it. There are many different tastes… from that strong onion taste to a sweet almond taste. But the smell is the same! In Asia they say durian “smells like hell but taste like heaven”. So.. don’t give up…. it usually takes us westerners about 3 times to try it before we are hooked. 🙂
Zoe, I buy durian often here in Comox on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada (quite northern – only one store gets it in frozen). I let it thaw outside in cooler weather & in an outdoor fridge in warmer weather.
When I slice it in half my husband hates the smell tho I am used to it now & it does not bother me anymore. So I just try to deal with it quickly &/or while he is out of the house. With practice you learn if it is not ripe (rubbery & flavorless) or if it is over-ripe (runny & way stinky).
I slice it across, like an orange, & scoop out the pods with some instrument that works, & scrape the flesh off the pips into a bowl. When I have all the flesh off, throw away the empty husks quickly, I process the flesh in a food processor until it is smooth, creamy & delicious (make sure you check before processing for the odd pip that is not nice processed).
This way, the durian is much more appealing. I regularly take it to potlucks & people who do not like durian often decide they do like it.
Cheers – love your blogs!
Thanks for sharing your experience with Durian, Pat. I guess I got a bad one but it will be a while before I experiment again.