Zimmern: “completely rotten, mushy onions.”
Bourdain: “…Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”
Alfred Russell Wallace, some naturalist in the 1800’s: “After a fruit-eating bat has pee’d on it.”
Henri Mouhot, French naturalist: “On first tasting it I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction.”
BBC: “It has been likened to rotting onions, unwashed socks and even carrion in custard, but the most accurate description by far is that of a sewer full of rotting pineapples.”
Richard Sterling, travel/food writer: “… its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.”
I grew up eating the fresh durian during the summers that we’d go back to Hong Kong, so it’s something that my family has always loved. To me, it’s creamy, luscious, custardy. I would choose durian over the finest cheese. In fact, it’s so creamy that I’ve used durian as a “cheese” to spread on crackers!
MARK MY WORDS: I think durian is going to be next big good-for-you-make-millions multi level marketing thing, like mangosteen and acai. Can you imagine if some company claimed that durian is the “Asian secret” to eternally youthful skin? And you have to smear this durian stuff on your face nightly as a mask?
Yeah, I’d be lickin’ that mask right off. (ewww. I know. I disgust you!)
Durian Virgin? Come to Mama…
Ok, so if you’re a durian virgin, I’ve got a very, very tame recipe for you.
While fresh durian is hard to find outside of metro cities with a large Asian markets, frozen durian is pretty good. The durian fruit is frozen at its peak of ripeness, but will lack the pungent aroma and taste of fresh durian, which is a really good thing if you have asshole neighbors, which thankfully, I don’t anymore (no, not you Lisa!)
Ask your Asian grocer if they carry frozen durian. If they do not, beg, plead and bribe them until they succumb to the durian love fest.
Making frozen yogurt with the durian was absolutely perfect. The yogurt is tangy, smooth and refreshing – a perfect pairing for a fruit that is considered a “heat” fruit, meaning the fruit has heating properties vs. the usual cooling properties of fruit. Ok, will go into that whole cooling/heating foods thing in another post.
Frozen Durian from Thailand
Defrosted durian looks like this. Not so bad, right? There are several large brown seeds inside the fruit.
Durian Frozen Yogurt
16 ounces Greek yogurt or 32 ounces whole milk yogurt
4 ounces frozen durian fruit
1/2 cup sugar
If you are using whole milk yogurt (and not the Greek yogurt), you’ll need to strain out the water (whey). Line your fine meshed sieve with a double-layer of cheesecloth. Spoon the yogurt in, and let it sit propped over a deep bowl in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Discard the whey (water.) If you are using Greek-style yogurt, no need to strain, just use as is.
Use your hands to scoop out and discard the large seeds. The durian should be soft enough at room temperature to use a potato masher or whisk to smush and break up the durian. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, durian and sugar together. Taste and if add more durian if it’s not durian-y enough for you! Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
Following the your ice cream maker’s insturctions, churn, baby, churn the durian yogurt until the mixture is the consistency of soft ice cream.
Who else loves durian?
Chez Pim makes Sweet Sticky Rice with Durian and Coconut Milk Sauce
Malaysia’s Best loves Durian Butter Cake
Wokking Mum whipped up a batch of Durian Cupcakes
how about you? Have you ever had Durian?