“Would you eat a fruit that smells of sewage and vomit? The durian is so pungent that you can’t carry it on public transport or airlines in the Far East. But its butter smooth golden flesh is addictive and very, very popular. There are many tales about it – death by durian is not unknown – it grows on trees up to 100 ft tall, and can weigh up to 6lbs. So don’t take a nap under a tree laden with ripe durian. And its supposedly aphrodisiac qualities are enshrined in an Indonesian saying – when the durians come down, the sarongs go up.
At this time of year you can buy durian at some of the stores in Chinatown – it’s large, green and spiky on the outside, uncompromising. Ask for a chunk, or see if there is some ready prepared in the chiller cabinet.
And that smell of sewage? Well, just think what a good ripe Pont l’Eveque cheese smells like… and how delicious it tastes.
POST UPDATED 5/5/16
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