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Durian. Why God, why? (Foods Never to Eat Part 2)

20 February 2011

We had our first (and last) encounter with the local—ahem—delicacy known as “durian” the other night.


Durian. Yuck.

Though considered a delicacy among the locals and a sort of rite of passage for any tourist, this fruit has absolutely zero redeeming value. Even if it contained the cure for cancer, I’d be willing to wait for an alternative. It’s such an offensive “food” (the very definition of which is liberally distorted by including this thing in it) that it is not allowed in most public or private places and is usually served in abandoned parking lots away from civilization.

It's such a heinous violation, they don't even fine you...they make you eat more durian.

You’re probably driven to ask: “But if everyone eats it, how could it be so offensive?”

I will tell you.

To start, it grows in a giant pod that looks like a large pineapple without the tuft, except that it’s roughly the size and shape of a rugby ball and covered in sharp, curved barbs that draw blood if you’re careless enough to handle it the wrong way. Or if you happen to be standing underneath as it plummets down upon your head from its lofty perches high in the jungle canopy.
For reference, the guys that sell it handle it with the type of chain mail gloves they use to feed sharks on the Discovery Channel.

Death from above to make death in your mouth.

These are clearly hints from Nature.

Second, the smell that emanates from this wretched fruit is like fresh asphalt covered in the drippings from a fetid garbage dumpster behind a Long John Silver’s on a sweltering August afternoon in Tucson.

Nature: “That was warning number two.”

Assuming you’ve not been dissuaded by these very clear signals and dare to put this thing near your mouth, you’re met by another round of sensations further bolstering Nature’s exhortations to reconsider.

The “fruit”—which is accessible only by hacking the pod open with a machete—resembles a putrefying yellow-green human kidney, with a large avocado-like seed in the middle. The exterior is reminiscent of the skin on Jell-O pudding, while the meat inside is like crème brulée with citrus pulp in it.

Nature: “You’re seriously still going to do this?”
You: “I’m considering it…”
Nature: “Moron.”

The taste is at first somewhat sweet and creamy, but immediately brings to the tongue the flavors associated with the aforementioned smell.

And then there are the burps.

The burps can last up to several days, as proven by Al, who was able to consume a full kidney with some fava beans and a nice chianti (in contrast, I was only able to make it through a single bite—and was immediately revolted as it assaulted me on all fronts). She paid for it dearly, however, as the taste lingered in her mouth and upset her stomach for two days, and when she burped later that night, it smelled as if we had just received a full delivery of fresh durian right there in the bedroom.

Total turn-on.

You: “Nature, you’re an a-hole. No one deserves that.”
Nature: “I tried to tell you…”

Moral of the story: Listen to Nature: don’t eat foods that could kill you and smell like sh¡t.

Still reeling

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 20 February 2011 11:55 am

    Wow! I applaud your efforts to be totally open-minded tourists, but let your nasal passages show you the way, kids. If it don’t smell good then it don’t taste good either.

  2. kirsten decker permalink
    25 February 2011 2:50 am

    Durian is by far the grossest thing I have ever tasted as well- In Indonesia they sold durian flavored condoms so I guess some people really do find them to be a turn on…

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