I decided a sunny Saturday afternoon was the perfect time to try durian. I’d had a small bite of one before, but was now determined to try the whole thing. Choosing, buying, opening & hopefully having enough nerve to actually eat one. I steeled myself to the distinct possibility of getting part way in & throwing the whole lot in the bin.
For the unitiated, a durian looks like this:
This came from ye regular olde supermarket downstairs – so it’s obviously not that bizarre a fruit. It comes in a handy dandy carrier bag, but the checkout girl still eyed it very suspiciously & placed it inside first one, then two plastic bags (which the spikes promptly & happily ripped through).
It’s difficult to see in the above picture, but there are tiny splits in the shell of the durian. When I bought it, this particular split was about 2″ long. By the next morning it had expanded to this:
So, after much researching & watching youtube videos on the matter, I discovered that you pry your fingers into these holes, and you can pull the fruit apart, thus:
This can only be described as.. uhh, vaguely sexual. *cough* anyway, it added to the experience, for me at least (I forgot to ask how the durian felt about it. Guess that’s a guy thing)
So how big is a durian? Well, I wish I’d got a photo of this, but alas, I didn’t think of it – it’s roughly as big as my head. Instead, here’s a picture of my head:
Two keys points – 1. See how extremely unconvinced I am by the durian (this was before I started eating it). 2. Note the extensive collection of booze in the background which will now probably never be drunk. If you’d like it, just shout.
So, once you pry out a section, it starts to look like this:
And you can see the little fruit sections inside. They have large softish pips in them (which you don’t eat, uhh, I think).
What do they look like? They look like ALIEN BABIES!!! No, I’m serious. Check it:
I swear. You’re stealing alien babies from the spikey mothership. This fruit is CRAZY. I kept expecting it to jump out of my hand and suck onto my face.
Of course, there’s also another *cough* minor detail with durian.
Ok, let me explain. With most food, it smells more or less like it tastes.
In geographic terms, durian smells like Oklahoma, but tastes like Nepal. They are NOTHING alike. So, in order to enjoy it, you kind of have to detach the part of your brain that links smell & taste, because your nose & tastebuds will be telling you completely different things. One part of your brain is saying to grab your cowboy hat, the other your prayer beads & pitons. It just doesn’t work.
The taste is.. hmm. very hard to explain. Remember Charlie & The Chocolate Factory? How there was the chewing gum that had an entire three course meal in it? Well, it’s sort of like that – except that afterwards you don’t blow up to the size of a house. It’s sort of creamy, a bit like custard, sweet, but less sweet than banana. Damn delicious though.
Also, on the subject of smell, the outside & the inside smell quite different from each other. I tell you, these things are stunningly weird. But ok, while we’re on the subject of alien foods, who the heck invented Daikon?
Coz I tell you, if that doesn’t look like some kind of insane frilly UFO with massive vertical exhaust fumes, what the hell does?
Oh, and the durian? I’m offically hooked. I ate the whole thing in a day (probably a bad idea, they’re quite high in fat), & went back for more today. SO GOOD! I am officially a hippie.