I went to a local HMart with my boyfriend to shop for Korean groceries. While there, the two of us picked up a wide variety of wonderful products like shrimp-flavored yum-yum chips, salted seaweed munchies, and an ultra-precious super-fruit that is The Durian.
Durian is a spiky pineapple-like fruit that comes from Asia. If you find one in America, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll come frozen due to its short shelf-life. If you find one fresh, you’ll pay a hefty price from fees for rapid international shipping. A frozen durian will normally sell for just under $5.00 apiece. They come in a convenient yellow bag to aid in ease of transportation. They’re quite uncomfortable to carry due to the spikes.
Durians have a certain reputation… They’re known as the world’s smelliest fruit.
With our durian mostly thawed, my boyfriend and I now had to figure out what to do with the thing. I researched how to open it while he searched online for a recipe. I found a YouTube video that explained how to open it. You basically prod the durian with a knife until you find a soft spot. Then you stab it, cut a line down the soft part, and peel it open like a pomegranate.
Sounds easy enough, right?
We struggled for a good 20 minutes with little luck. We had let the durian sit out for over 5 hours but the inside still must have been a little frozen because opening it was nearly impossible. We had to alternate cutting, chiseling, stabbing, ripping, peeling and pulling the stubborn durian. All while getting poked with the fruit’s sharp spines.
We eventually managed to open one or two sections of the fruit. It contained a pulpy yellow flesh-like substance inside. That flesh smells just wonderful. This is the part of the fruit that you eat. You might not think it is edible but I assure you, it is.
With our freshly scooped durian on a plate, we tasted a small piece. The flavor was… unique. A flavor, unlike anything I’ve ever had before. We used the durian to make banana & durian smoothies. The taste of that was pretty bold so we added some cocoa powder to mask it with a hint of chocolate. Not only did this make the flavor worse but the smoothie’s appearance was now atrocious.
My family wasn’t exactly thrilled to meet the Durian either. My dad was alarmed by its huge size. He found its true form quite frightening. My sister was utterly sickened by its scent. My mother called it the Damien.
After all the fuss it caused, Durian is now banned from our household.