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getting my hands on a durian in the U.S.

There was interesting thread a few months ago about the legal status of mangosteens in the United States and their availability in New York City.

The discussion got me wondering about whether it's possible to try a Durian without travelling to Asia? Are they regulated or banned here in the states--or are they merely rare/unpopular?

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  1. I would say merely rare/unpopular. In NoVa II am pretty certain that I have seen (frozen?) durian fruit at the asia grocery store Super H.

    1. Neither rare nor unpopular in major West Coast cities. Ranch 99 Markets in SoCal and elsewhere usually have a large bin full of frozen durian. Anyplace with significant numbers of Southeast Asians should have durians in the Asian markets.


      1. Very available in New York City Chinatown. In fact, I had to ban my wife from bringing the "stinky fruit" home. When at my in-laws, I'll sit away from the dining room table when being served

        1. Thanks for the info. Are they always frozen?

          7 Replies
          1. re: Yaqo Homo

            Rarely on the West Coast you'll see them fresh -- Hawaii Supermarket in San Gabriel has them from time to time -- but even the ones grown here in the US are typically frozen. Why, you ask?

            Because. Of. The. Smell.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Yes, I have heard about the famous smell. But I did not know that durians can be grown in the U.S! I assumed they required a very tropical climate.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Do you know where? I'm still trying to get seeds so a friend can plant them!!

                  1. re: 4chowpups

                    I have no idea, sorry... they require hot and humid weather.

                    Have you tried calling Seed Savers in Decorah, Iowa?

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      Still haven't located durian seeds but thanks for the Seed Savers info, I googled them and found their heirloom stuff fascinating!!!

                      1. re: 4chowpups

                        How about the California Rare Fruit Growers? They should be able to point you somewhere.

          2. Very available in Bloomington, IN.

            1. It's definitely available in Chinatown in NYC at many different locations.

              1. NYC Chinatowns (Manhattan, Brooklyn for sure, don't know about Queens) have them fresh. Not sure if you are near NYC, Yago Homo

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Engineer

                  I'd guess, based on past postings, that Yago Homo has his/her answer with Manhattan Chinatown. But for those following along at home, I've seen crates of 'em in Bergenfield, NJ, in the Indian markets, as well.

                2. You can buy fresh or frozen durian in Boston at Super 88 or Kam Man. Saw a buch yesterday at the latter.

                  You must buy a whole fresh durian, but can sample smaller chunks of it frozen.

                  I've had it and think it tastes and smells like garbage soaked in gasoline.

                  1. Available in the Twin Cities fresh and frozen at markets on Eat Street (whose names I dare not butcher trying to spell correctly).

                    1. In White Plains, NY there is a large Asian supermarket called Kam Sen (in the old White Plains Mall, if you care) which sells them fresh.

                      1. Also spotted in Chinatown in Phillly. I think they are relatively easy to find.

                        1. I love the smell of the Durian.. They also have Durian Smoothies at Lee's Sandwiches here in LA, yum

                          1. found frozen in Chicago's Vietnamese district(Uptown)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: aelph

                              Lots of fresh durian in Chicago's Chinatown; several restaurants sell durian smoothies, yummy!

                              1. re: aelph


                              2. Both fresh and frozen at any LARGE Asian market in the DC area.

                                1. Durian is avaialable fresh at Lee Lee market in Mesa Arizona

                                  1. Durian is also available at Ha Tien on University Ave. in St. Paul, MN. Haven't tried it myself, yet.

                                    1. Saw them today in the Asian Food Market in Cherry Hill, NJ...fresh in the produce dept.