Durian. It's a fruit that elicits strong reactions pretty much everywhere. For those who have tried or smelled durian, it is almost impossible to remain neutral. Usually there are two camps for eaters of durian. Lovers and haters. There are very few indifferent eaters of durian.
For those of you who have seen Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods, you may remember durian as one of the few foods in the world that he truly struggles to appreciate. That from a guy who regularly sucks down such delicacies as cockroaches, beating frog hearts, and fermented fish heads.
For reasons known only to them, the German Research Center for Food Chemistry decided to break down the aroma of durian, and found 50 diffferent compounds that made up the smell. Four of the compounds were previously unknown to science. It is a smell described by Food writer Richard Sterling as, "turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away." That was from an article in the Smithsonian magazine. That's a pretty serious publication. If they have an article about the way a fruit smells, you know it's pretty serious.
Now with that kind of an introduction, and knowing that Andrew Zimmern himself can't stand it, you know that if you have the chance, you at least have to try it. That's my Skye, apparently not impressed by daddy's enthusiasm.
Oh, It's also my father-in-laws favorite fruit.
Actually, I like it. It's not my favorite fruit in the world, but it's actually really good. A very creamy texture, somewhat indescribable flavor, sort of like a custardy, fruity,...umm...I don't know. And I hardly detect the hint of dirty gym sock. Really.
If you are ever in Asia, or at an Asian food market, you really should try some. Andrew Zimmern smiles while eating snakes and fermented whale blubber. Maybe you can smile while eating durian, and feel like you're giving Mr. Bizarre Foods a run for his money.
Just don't bring your durian onboard public transportation in Singapore, or you could get fined $500. True.
My three-year old, although she may have appreared reluctant, has eaten durian before and really enjoyed it. And this time as well, after making a few faces, she took a bite and once again enjoyed the mystery wrapped in an edible enigma that is durian.
Mr. Zimmern, you have us beat in almost every other category when it comes to food, but bring on the durian, and we might just have your number.