And run screaming." The taste of the interior pulpy meat, I experienced, was on the sweet, side like a sweet onion that stays with you momentarily and disappears to leave a strange combination of flavors in your mouth mostly of a fruit and onion mixture. The inside may look white but they are yellow,” says Reddin, who fields questions about onions as The Onionista.If you’re looking for an onion that tastes amazing raw in salads, relishes or chopped as a garnish, go … Sort of like caramelized onions mixed with burnt onions and bad, un-sweet pineapple.” “The texture is similar to a mealier canned artichoke heart.” “It looks like a bunch of baby aliens inside. You will be able to smell these across the room if someone starts eating one. First, make sure you pick a fresh durian by checking that the stem is a light color. In 1856, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace wrote that durian tasted like “a rich custard highly flavored with almonds,” but “there are occasional wafts of flavor that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes.” You didn’t mentioned the unpleasant odor coming from a cut Durian. I thought I’d like durian. The taste is intense, and is very unique. Scientists examine what chemicals make the Asian fruit smell like “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock” I approached a woman surrounded by her produce and selected the smallest in the pile. But get down to the pale yellow, creamy flesh, and you’ll experience overtones of hazelnut, apricot, caramelized banana and egg custard. But the durian tasted how it smelled, only worse. Even more determined, I reached into the shell again, pinched off a little more of the gooey flesh, and put it in my mouth. The Esplanade building next to Marina … Sprinkled with salt and that's it. Durian has a very pungent smell that is best described as onions, rotting meat, stinky cheese, and something very similar to gasoline. One bite led … Fans describe the taste as sweet, like banana and almonds, with a pleasant, rum-like warming sensation. The durian is an incredibly interesting fruit. It somewhat also tastes like diced garlic and caramel infused into whipped cream. But to many South East Asian locals, it’s a prized delicacy, used in many dishes and even traditional medicine. Singapore’s official fruit is the durian. I suggest not eating any of them, but passing them out liberally to friends (or maybe enemies). What is Durian Fruit? If you’re in Kampot, hire a guide and head out to the Teuk Chhou area, which is a spot known for its fresh, well-grown fruits and knowledgeable farm owners. If you’ve never heard of durian before, it’s the oddly-shaped, spiky fruit, known to trigger disgust in the faces of many foreigners. In fact, it has affectionately been compared to rotten onions, raw sewage, and smelly gym socks, and even earned itself a … It’s attractive. A good durian will be sweet, creamy and yummy like ice cream. 1. “The smell of rotten eggs is so overwhelming. I entered the market and was greeted by colorful mats piled high with the spiky fruit. And yet, despite its stinky reputation, it can be found practically everywhere: In curries, cakes, and even ice cream. If you haven’t had the fortune (or misfortune, depending on your point of view) to encounter durian in person, think about what it would smell like to blend onions with sweaty socks. Apparently there is some dish in Malaysia where they mix durian with rice. We have varieties of Durian, in taste and price. The smell may get appreciation or described to have smell like turpentine, raw sewage, or rotten onions, depending upon … For the chips, the texture is crunchy, dense depending on which part of the fruit. But I tend to find it better in sweet dishes. Use a knife to puncture and then pry open along the line where the spikes go in, as that’s where the seam of the fruit is. Despite the stench, the spiky, football-sized fruit is easy to find in Southeast Asia because the taste of the custard-like inside is in a league of its own. Durian is also known as being the smelliest fruit in the world due to its distinctive (read: awful) smell. He beamed as I handed the spiky nightmare over to him, then stowed his gift away behind his stall. “On first tasting it, I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction, but after four or five trials I found the aroma exquisite.” —Henri Mouhot, French Naturalist, in Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China: Siam, Cambodia, and Laos, During the Years 1858, 1859, and 1860, 13. On a trip to Kampot, the “durian capital of Cambodia,” I decided to push past the scent and try one for myself. The durian often invokes a love or hate relationship: aficionados describe the internal yellow carpels as a rich, butter-like custard, with hints of chives, powdered sugar, and caramel in … It can be smelled from yards away.” —Richard Sterling, food writer, 5. “Yes, I freely admit that when ripe it can smell like a dead animal. —Monica Tan, The Guardian Journalist, 19. Words used to describe the smell have included gym socks, vomit, and onions. I personally wasn’t able to enjoy the delicacy, but by trying it, I was able to connect with the countless number of people who do. Approaching durian doesn’t have to be as disastrous as my attempt, and there are a few ways you can go about it. Some people consider durian to have a pleasant and sweet aroma while others consider it to have an unpleasant and sharp odor. Yes, really. The jarring odor is the first thing that hits you, putting your palate in kind of a bad mood. Sweet Onions. “[Like] eating ice cream in an outhouse.” —As reported in Jerry Hopkins's Strange Foods, 14. I pinched the slice too tightly, and it shot into the air before it fell onto my chest and then slithered down into my shirt, leaving a putrid trail in its wake. Holding my breath, I reached inside and grabbed a segment out of the shell. You either love it or you hate it. Maybe your experience will be different, and you’ll be able to find the elusive custardy goodness I seemed to have missed out on. It's different, but in a good way, many would say. But then comes the mild sweetness, like wild onions simmered in a little butter. While onions are still in their peeling the odor is almost nonexistent, but from the time you cut into an onion until the time you finish consuming it or dispose of it, the strong, overpowering scent lingers. 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It’s supposed to taste like diced garlic and caramel poured into whipped cream. I am of the latter. The taste of Durian Why take our word for it... all hail the King of Fruits. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. “Like eating raspberry blancmange in the lavatory.” —Anthony Burgess, Novelist, 17. Despite a lack of natural attractions, Kampot’s colorful jumble of shop fronts, quiet streets, and artsy cafes make it a relaxing stop after Cambodia’s hot, traffic-choked capital. If you haven’t had the fortune (or misfortune, depending on your point of view) to encounter durian in person, think about what it would smell like to blend onions with sweaty socks. Every food is not for every person. They are sweet mostly. “Tastes lightly sweet and deeply musky.” —Frommer’s Guide to Malaysia, 4. Start small and build up a familiarity with the flavor. They only ban them in fancy hotels in SE Asia because the smell can be … It is the one case where Nature has tried her hand at the culinary art and beaten all the CORDON BLEUE out of heaven and earth.” —a "good friend" of Edmund J. Banfield, Australian Naturalist, as quoted in Banfield's 1911 book My Tropic Isle, 10. Once you’re ready to tackle the real thing, do some research. Look along the side of the shell to find where the spikes start to go in on themselves (careful to avoid getting pricked). Things went rapidly downhill from there. “You will either be overcome, seduced by its powerful, declarative presence, or reject it outright. This includes personalizing content and advertising. Not at all. Just be mindful when you’re plucking out a wedge to taste, lest you too end up with a trail of slimy durian down your chest. My Cambodian wasn’t good enough to explain the situation, but he got the gist. Durian is one of those things that you either love or hate.Its smell is astoundingly potent and deterrent enough to keep most people from going near it. Many East Asian grocery stores stock durian-flavored candy, cookies, and ice cream. The smell is so strange: onions and meat, if I'm being charitable. It’s somewhat eclipsed by Sihanoukville’s beaches in the west and the capital city of Phnom Penh in the north. After throwing me a bemused look, she hacked its shell apart with a cleaver and handed it over. Prized specimens were sliced in half, exposing the custard-yellow flesh and letting the pungent aroma leak out and mingle with the smell of the chicken and fish being barbecued nearby. There does not seem to be many in the middle on this one. The lady who’d sold it to me watched on, the corners of her eyes crinkled in amusement. Some people say it smells like dead rats." It didn’t work so well. It’s been described as ‘turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock’ by a famous food writer (Richard Sterling). A taste you can really only taste to imagine. Oh, and if you plunge straight in and eat the real thing, keep a toothbrush handy for afterwards. “The smell was like a mix of rotting garbage and a rapid gas leak.” “It doesn’t taste nearly as bad as I expected it to. It's hard to know how many stars to give these candies. “The flesh is as white as snow, exceeds in delicacy of taste of all our best European fruits, and none of ours can approach it.” —Jacques de Bourges, 17th Century Missionary, 2. It inspires architecture. But words fail; there is no other fruit like it.” —Thomas Fuller, New York Times Journalist, The Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei. —Alfred Russel Wallace, 19th-century British Naturalist, 18. The durian (/ ˈ dj ʊər i ə n, ˈ d ʊr-,-æ n /) is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio.There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit, with over 300 named varieties in Thailand and 100 in Malaysia, as of 1987. So, what does durian actually taste like? It is putrid and sickening, It is almost too much to bear, at least it was for me. My hands were sticky with it. The flavor varies depending on breed and ripeness. Yes, the fruit is difficult to handle, bearing likeness to a medieval weapon. I am shamed to say I haven’t eaten the fruit itself but only have had a durian candy, as durian is impossible to get up here in way north California where I live. As durian fan Anthony Bourdain once explained, “Your breath will smell as if you’ve been french kissing your dead grandmother.”, Search for a topic, destination or article, We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. I'm from Thailand. A durian is supposed to have subtle hints of chives mixed with powdered sugar. The durian is a beloved delicacy in Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia. The edible portions are the pods inside of the shell, which have a soft membrane that’ll break open in your mouth. There is something about the smell of a durian that just seems to put people off. It’s also in the architecture. Onions caramelized in wine – it depends. Raw durian is sliced and then fried in oil or baked. I'd describe the taste of these as onion and the stuff at the bottom of the trash can mixed with a bit of coconut. Despite the stench, the spiky, football-sized fruit is easy to find in Southeast Asia because the taste of the custard-like inside is in a league of its own. The sweetness was overpowering. “Like pungent, runny French cheese … Your breath will smell as if you’d been French kissing your dead grandmother.” —Anthony Bourdain, Chef and Host of Parts Unknown, 12. I personally love strong-tasting food: blue cheese so ripe it’s almost melting, sauerkraut that’s fizzing in its own vinegar, whole anchovies straight from the jar — I enjoy it all. At the markets in Cambodia, the stalls you buy fresh durian from will hack the fruit open for you. The durian fruit grows on … I hadn’t even tasted it yet, and I’d somehow managed to coat myself in it. Durian was probably the fruit that I was most interested to try. It’s … Durian fruit is a large fruit with custard-like flesh and a hard, spiky shell. Why Does the Durian Fruit Smell So Terrible? In horrified silence, I handed the durian to my partner and tugged the hem of my top until the slippery glob fell out onto the dusty floor. The Southeast Asian fruit regularly makes headlines thanks to its putrid smell, which is so strong that it’s banned on Singapore’s rail network, as well as many airports and hotels in the region. “These well-known varieties have a pale yellow skin. The rest of the family does not find this fruit edible or enjoyable. "To eat it seems to be the sacrifice of self-respect.” — Bayard Taylor, 19th-century … “[I]ts odor is best described as pig-sh*t, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. "To eat it seems to be the sacrifice of self-respect.” —Bayard Taylor, 19th-century Journalist, 6. Also, there are other products made from it, like candy or preserved one. “Carrion in custard.” —A “Governor of the Straits” quoted in 1903's Hobson-Jobson: A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive, 20. Durian fruits flavour is a very pleasant sweet taste, with a texture and colour much like custard and a very creamy soft feel to the flesh. Smells like cat pee and pepper. One thing that almost everyone agrees with is that it has a horrible smell. It makes you drool like a mastiff.” —Bob Halliday, Bangkok-based food writer, 7. “[Has a] sewer-gas overtone.” —Maxine E. McBrinn, Anthropologist, 11. Try one of these first. :-D They taste like onions soaked in gasoline and drizzled in honey. Just like I'd been warned, durian does smell pretty noxious, and the sweet onion-like flavor was somewhat off putting for a dessert. The creamy fruit is notoriously potent—in fact, it’s so smelly that Singapore’s public transit systems tell passengers not to bring them onto subways or buses. The absence of its raw smell makes it less of a shock to the senses. Good for: Salads, relishes, garnishes Popular sweet onions include Vidalias, Walla Wallas and Mauis. It felt like a raw oyster, slippery as wet soap. I was done. I left the market, scrubbed myself clean in a long, hot shower, and reflected on the experience. The durian fruit, native to Southeast Asia, is regarded the “king of fruits” due to its distinctive (large) shape and rich flavor (although some dislike the taste). This was because so many people have such strong opinions about it. Some people even consume them raw, like ripe … For visitors, biting into the fruit can be an utterly confusing and contradictory experience. “To anyone who doesn’t like durian it smells like a bunch of dead cats. The fruit was everywhere — neatly stacked in little piles on the side of the road, balanced on the back of fruit carts, and wrapped in plastic and stowed safely away on supermarket shelves. Here are some outsider opinions from the past 400 years. Some people say that it tastes like custard, and others say that it is absolutely repulsive.
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