Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Durian - "The King of Fruit"

We, Yana, Cindy and I (my good friends here in Sandakan) stopped just outside of Ranau, Malaysia during our road trip to Kota Kinabalu. There the durian was being sold for miles along the road. 
Durian is a seasonal fruit and here it is known as the “king of fruits” – AND now is the time to get it.  It has a round shape with crown points and the average can range in size from 1kilo – 2kilo.   Durian has a very distinctive smell – when I first arrived it’s all anyone would talk about and one of the sayings I heard was, “It smells like hell, but tastes like heaven”. 
         To the locals, who favorite durian it has a sweet, yet bitter smell.  Their faces usually glow; their eyes get bigger and mouth starts to water for the taste!
         To the outsider, it has a foul smell.  The first time I smelled it, I thought of propane gas - - some think rotten egg???  Let’s just say it’s not what a fruit should smell like – though the taste is much different as well, but we will get to that later.

So we got out of the car, picked out our durians and I watch as the local sales-person cut it open for us. 

Yana takes the first bite and shows me the proper way to eat durian, which is just dig-in with your hands.

So I took a medium size piece, to my surprise the texture was similar to a very moist cake…very mushy and can be messy.

So I took a bite…the taste was bitter, yet had a little bit of sweetness to it.  It was thick, but moist.  I was expecting it to quench my thirst, like most fruits, but it was not like that at all.  The best way for me to describe it; is to think texture wise like mash potatoes, but the taste is like moist bitter, sweet cake. 

Now for what everyone is wondering…”did I like it?”
         In Bahasa Malayu, things are simple and straight to the point so I would say “sedap”!
         In English, well we can’t just be simple with our answers…so I would say, “Not only did I almost eat a whole durian to myself, but we stopped to eat more on the way home”!

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