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Durian <-- King of Fruits!

Anyone else have strong feelings about Durian? I can't get enough of the stuff--creamy, rich, sweet, slightly funky; almost like mother nature's best cheese!

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  1. Sticking with the regal references, I see Durian as the "Court Jester of Fruits".

    Durian looks like a spiky weapon or a spiked dinosaur egg.
    The fruit looks smooth and creamy and then the smell hits your notstrils. The smell of rotting fruit with hints of sewage.
    The taste is like rotting onions.

    King of fruits durian is not.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dave_c

      I've tried it a couple of times, and I don't get it. it's not the smell; i could get past that if it tasted any good. it just doesn't.

      In a world filled with mangoes and cherries, why would anyone eat durian?

    2. If you freeze it, it's like ice cream because it's so creamy and rich. I like it like that too.

      Durian is not for everyone, they either love it or hate it.

      1. Lived in Thailand and ate lots of stuff, but can't do durian! There's a reason why hotels won't let you bring it into your room!

        1 Reply
        1. re: arashall

          I've never had the nerve to buy one, mostly for fear that it won't be perfectly ripe, or else too ripe and will evacuate blocks around me. That said, the only fruit shake I'd order in a Vietnamese restaurant is durian. There's something indescribable about that drink. The mix of ice, sweetened condensed milk and durian is magic to me.

        2. I don't like it at all--smells too much like sewage.

          1. I love durian, and try to buy a fresh one at least once a year. They can be very expensive!

            I think I paid $30 last year for a huge one ($5 per pound).

            To me, the flavor is a cross between very very overripe canteloupe and toasted almonds.

            1. I can never get enough of it :-)
              Malaysian durians are the best - nicer texture and more pronounced flavors/scent compared to those from Thailand, Indonesia or Vietnam.

              1. Some time in the 80's, my mother and her 3 sisters, all in their 70's at the time, traveled to Southeast Asia with a museum tour. In Kuala Lumpur, mom saw a notice in her hotel room stating that hotel guests could not bring durians into the hotel. Assuming durians were some ethnic group they'd never heard of, and with great indignation, 4 sweet LOLs marched up to the desk wanting to know who the durians were and why they were discriminated against.

                They laughed about that for years, and it immediately became a family joke. When I found durian jam at a Chinese supermarket, I gave jars of it to all of them, but I don't think anyone ever ate it.

                1. Picked up half a bad boy on Saturday. Delicious! I tore into that thing like it was my last meal.

                   
                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Novelli

                    Ah Novelli, we are brothers in Durian.

                  2. It's durian season in Malaysia at the moment!! Types of Malaysian durians below:

                     
                     
                     
                    2 Replies
                    1. re: klyeoh

                      What's the best durian and where does it come from?

                      So far the best durian I've tried was in Malaysia. My friends and I picked it up on the way to Genting island while we were on a tour. It was creamy, super sweet, lots of meat with little seed, and smelled so good (or bad to some).

                      1. re: duriandude

                        IMO, from Balik Pulau on Penang island - the season should be here in mid-May.

                        Other good sources are Kluang and Batu Pahat in Johore - but these areas have a slower start to their season compared to Penang, then Pahang.

                    2. I love durian. I was introduced to it by a Thai ex-gf. One time I was in a Vietnamese boba shop and ordered a durian shake. The guy wanted to confirm that I actually knew what it was before he served me one.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ocshooter

                        I find it over rated-not bad just unexceptional.

                        1. re: ocshooter

                          If you like Durian shake (smoothie), then I suggest you try Guanabana (soursop) or Sapote smoothie. I find those taste a whole lot better in a form of smoothie than Durian's.

                          Oh, I recommend you order these exotic-fruit-smoothies at a dessert (Vietnamese Che`) place instead of from a boba place.

                        2. "Durian <___ King of Fruits"

                          NO!!!!!!

                          1. It is definitely King of fruit. People on this side of the world are just too close-minded to appreciate it.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: hughnguyen22

                              >>People on this side of the world are just too close-minded to appreciate it.<<

                              Interesting. imho, it has nothing to do with minds being too closed or open. Flavor profiles, textures, etc. are mostly cultural. So where are all the cheese shops in that side of the world and the open-minded hoards relishing eppoises cheese?

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                PS - my father-in-law is from SE Asia. He won't touch food from outside of Asia. On the other hand, I've never refused anything offered to me that didn't conflict with my personal morals while in Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand - even durian.

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  Not the older folks, but the younger ones are more receptive - that's why we can find gourmet cheese sections in supermarkets in HK, Singapore, KL, Bangkok these days.

                                  1. re: klyeoh

                                    Still - my sister-in-law proclaimed loving cheese. Preparing for her arrival from Singapore, we sought out some good examples of cheeses. She turned her nose to all of them.

                                    "What cheeses do you like?"

                                    "Mozzarella and pepper jack."

                                    I understand the receptiveness issue. I don't think the above poster does - and how it plays both ways. Some flavor and texture profiles of one culture are difficult for other cultures to appreciate. I've had durian several times - some of the best (Red Lobster, XO, etc.) from Malaysia. I still don't find it to my liking. Stinky tofu, natto, belacan et al are the stinkers that Asia appreciates. Ripe cheeses are the "closed-minded" people's adored stinkers. Is one side to chastise the other for not embracing their own? I like them all - still less than luke warm on durian.

                                2. re: bulavinaka

                                  Amen to that.

                                  The first time I offered my Filipina cousin-in-law a chunk of Maytag Blue; she sniffed it, ripped on me for trying to trick her into eating rotten food, and then gave me the stink-eye for the rest of the evening.

                                  And let's not even talk about her reaction to her husband and I eating Limburger & onion on rye sandwiches during one of our hunting trips. She wouldn't let us back in the camper until after we had taken a shower (but that's understandable).

                                  Over time she's grown to enjoy some of the less fragrant cheeses, but she still won't let me bring any stronger cheeses within a country mile of her home.

                                  I do find it funny that we both enjoy natto, considering that its pungent smell and flavor reminds me of stinky cheese.

                                  As for durian, I like it in small doses, and in candy; but, I won't allow it to be eaten in my house. If I'm caught unaware, the smell of it makes me shudder.

                                  1. re: deet13

                                    You hit upon the key for durian - in small doses. Any more than one pod and I'm calling foul.

                                    Your limburger and onion on rye sounds like (and probably somewhat smells like) in the parking lot of the ball park of durian. Swap out the rye for something slightly vanilla with some tropical fruit notes, and it could be close.

                                    Talk about being caught unaware... My then fiancee and I went to a local photo studio in KL to take some wedding photos. The assistant would pinch her thumb and forefinger together in front of our faces toward the direction we were to face. She went on a lunch break, and upon returning, she resumed doing that pinching motion. Honest to goodness - I almost gagged when she did this in front of my nose. She had eaten durian on her break.

                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                      I love durian so much. it is my favorite food of any kind. my last meal request would be fresh Malaysian durian and steamed rice.

                              2. Yay! The 2012 Durian Season has arrived in Malaysia ... with large consignments of the fruit making their way into Singapore! IMO, Malaysian durians are the best in the world, and Malaysian states like Penang, Pahang and Johore produce some of the best-tasting durians I'd ever had.

                                I tried the "Mao Shan Wang" (Mountain Cat) today - the King of Durians. Absolutely yummy - creamy, sweet custardy flesh, supremely aromatic.

                                 
                                1. Durian -- what can I say? It's funkier than James Brown!

                                  1. Durian...either you love it or your hate it.
                                    In my family, we have people from both camps. I'll eat it but only a certain variety that is creamy, not too sweet and not mushy. This variety is called 'garn yow' or long stem in Thai. The season for this variety is just about over.

                                    There are so many variety that never made it outside of Thailand. Unfortunately, some of those are the best. The variety that made it out is great for transportation and very sweet....too sweet for me. If you are in Thailand, search for uncommon varieties, you'll be rewarded.

                                     
                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: nattythecook

                                      Malaysia seems to have a rep for the best durian, but my relatives in Malaysia give Thailand a big nod as well. Some acquaintances in Singapore who go to Thailand have said the same.

                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                        I've never tried Malaysian durians, so I can't say. In Thailand, there are so many different varieties. I wanted to try the much talked about 5-figure price durians but the floods may have killed the trees off. These durians are reserved when they flower. A normal durian is about 2-400 baht per fruit. But the special durians cost 10,000+ baht.

                                        1. re: nattythecook

                                          $300+ for a durian? Fruit insanity flooding over from Japan! I doubt my in-laws or friends in Singapore have been eating those...

                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                            I was told that these are durians that the person who gets to eat it never pays for it and the person who pays for it never gets to eat it! Basically, they are so expensive that you only buy them as gifts but can't afford to eat them yourself. I'd like to try it myself, but can't afford it.

                                        2. re: bulavinaka

                                          Thai durians have a fainter smell (and taste) compared to Malaysian ones - so, they''re more suitable for those with an aversion to the durian's strong, assertive scent.

                                          For me, Thai durians would satisfy my craving for thick, abundant flesh, but they tend to fall short taste-wise. Since I was a little kid, I haven't found any Thai durians which I really liked yet, despite having tried all the good breeds (Monthong, Chanee & Karnyao) on my annual visits to Bangkok to visit my maternal grandparents' families.

                                          1. re: klyeoh

                                            Try the 10,000+ baht. I wonder if they are really good. Enough people pay to reserve them in advance!

                                            1. re: nattythecook

                                              Heh-heh, don't think I'll part with US$300 for a "rare" durian. It's also not something one can pick off the fruit section even in the upmarket supermarkets in Siam Paragon or Central World Plaza. Apparently, these Nonthaburi Kanyao durians have to be procured directly from the orchard owner - and last year was a "vintage" year of sorts, which caused the price to skyrocket!

                                              I was in Bangkok for the durian season last year, but an aunt organized a trip to the durian orchards in the well-known fruit plantation areas of Chanthaburi instead of Nonthaburi. I think each of the good quality Kanyao we had costed about US$15-US$20 each, and these were already the most expensive ones. Most Monthong or Chanee were priced around US$6 per kilo.

                                              In Thailand, it's also common to have durians with steamed "khao niew" (glutinous rice), flavored with coconut milk and sugar. To-die for!

                                              1. re: klyeoh

                                                Me neither! I'm still waiting for somebody to buy me one! :)

                                                It seems like there is a different in preference between the Thais and Malays and Singaporeans. Please tell me if it's true, I was told that the Malays and Singaporeans love durians very ripe, soft and fragrance.

                                                The Thais (majority) would prefer just ripe but not soft and watery. When durians get to the super ripe stage, the vendors can no longer sell them. They are then turn into other processed food like durian paste or sticky rice durian. The overripe durians are called 'pla rah' which translated literally is pickled fish. The durians are basically past its prime and start to stink. Well, 'some like it hot!'

                                                1. re: nattythecook

                                                  That is correct - Malaysians & Singaporeans have pretty much the same tastes. The Thais tellingly love durians which are relatively "unripe" by the standards of Malaysians/ Singaporeans.

                                      2. Old post get revived. I am not sure if durian is King of Fruits, but it is one of my most favor fruits for sure.

                                        1. Who would have thought that I am writing here again. I saw two types of durians today. The regular ones ($3.99 per pound?) and the expensive $6.99 per pound ones. I decided to try the expensive one. Well, I was a bit surprised when it rang up for ~$41. I guess it did not hit me that durian can weight quiet a bit and mine was a tad more than 5.8 pounds. Another customer was absolutely shocked when she noticed the price.

                                          I bought a bunch of other things like pea sprouts, carrot, winter melon, banana. All together cost ~$48. Yes, the durian dwarfs all the others in price. Let's see if this is really a super tasty durian.

                                          :D

                                           
                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            Do keep us posted-

                                          2. I have never seen one in any market here in Delaware. I would like to be able to try it.

                                            1. Wasn't there a pop group in the 80s named Durian Durian?

                                              1. We ate our first Durian some years ago walking through Bangkok's China town and absolutely loved it. Nowadays I just pick one up every so often nearby at HMart. A good Durian tastes like a wonderful fruity custard to me.
                                                We always eat some right away and then store the remainder in single portions in the freezer. Better than ice cream, unless - sometimes I throw a few arils into the blender until really smooth, mix it ca 1:1 with softened green tea ice cream (or plain vanilla ice cream) and re-freeze! Very delicious!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: RUK

                                                  <We always eat some right away and then store the remainder in single portions in the freezer>

                                                  Same here.

                                                  I do have a question. We often hear health benefits and harms of different foods like blueberries, salmon, white rice, beef...etc. I have not read much about durians. Anyone knows much about durians?

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    It's high in fiber, potassium and magnesium, as well as Vitamin C.

                                                    My mom says it is a "hot" fruit (as opposed to a "cooling" one).

                                                    On the King of Fruits meme ... I nominate Jack Fruit.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      <I nominate Jack Fruit>

                                                      Definitely not for me (I well know what it is)

                                                2. I've never tried Durian, but do LOVE strong cheeses like Limburger, Liederkranz, aged Brick, etc., etc.

                                                  I sometimes see it available frozen in Asian markets around here. Does anyone know if imported frozen Durian is any good?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                                    It won't be as good as the fresh ones. You also need to be careful not to get "spoilt' ones which were frozen!