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place to buy durian fruit in Chapel Hill / Durham area

jeffreys Jan 21, 2012 11:43 AM

Does anyone know where to buy fresh durian in the Triangle area? My son recently tried a durian shake at a Vietnamese restaurant in Virginia and actually liked it. (I find "rotten onions" to be an apt description of the flavor.) He's now in hot pursuit of the real (i.e., fresh) deal. Any suggestions? (Don't worry--he plans to open it and eat it outside).

  1. t
    Tom from Raleigh Jan 21, 2012 01:32 PM

    Li Ming's Global Market in Durham should have durian. I've tried it twice. I recommend cutting the fruit outdoors.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tom from Raleigh
      rockycat Jan 21, 2012 02:24 PM

      +1 on the cutting it outside part.
      Grand Asia in Cary usually has it too if you need to go farther afield.

    2. c
      chazzer Jan 21, 2012 06:01 PM

      Both places will have them frozen, they also sell the flesh removed and frozen in plastic boxes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chazzer
        LulusMom Jan 22, 2012 03:39 PM

        So if the flesh is removed, is it a lot less stinky? I'd be interested in trying this stuff at some point.

        1. re: LulusMom
          chazzer Jan 22, 2012 08:26 PM

          No it is just as stinky, you just don't need to cut it open and scoop it out yourself as it is stinking everything up. Either way it is an outside fruit.

          1. re: LulusMom
            burgeoningfoodie Jan 24, 2012 01:21 PM

            Definitely not as you can buy it in the frozen section as just the fruit alone in a hard plastic box. If ever there was a food item that was an acquired taste, this would be it. Yes they are at both Li Mings and Grand Asia typically near the seafood areas in giant freezers. Don't confuse this with Jackfruit which externally looks similar (to me).

            Speaking of Li Mings and Grand Asia.. I'm overdo for some Baozi and can anyone tell me why the bakery/steambars at these places are always cash only? Is it due to the charge you get if they put a charge through that is less than X dollars?

        2. j
          jeffreys Jan 22, 2012 11:37 AM

          Thanks for the tips, Tom, Rockycat and Chazzer! I'll check those places out. Much appreciated.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jeffreys
            Tom from Raleigh Jan 23, 2012 05:10 AM

            Durian is really something to experience. I've never smelled anything so revolting in my life. Words fail to describe the odor.

            I think they sell durian at the Asian market in Carrboro Plaza. It's a largely Thai store.

            1. re: Tom from Raleigh
              LulusMom Jan 23, 2012 05:53 AM

              But it tastes ... good?

              1. re: LulusMom
                chazzer Jan 23, 2012 06:56 AM

                It had a sweat onion type flavor that was enjoyable, it did become too much after awhile and the Durian Burps that followed were really bad.

                1. re: chazzer
                  LulusMom Jan 23, 2012 08:34 AM

                  Good explanation. Thanks.

                  1. re: chazzer
                    burgeoningfoodie Jan 24, 2012 01:22 PM

                    It has been reported as anything from rotten onions to smelly gym socks. Wikipedia I believe has a description from a journal in the early 1900s and if Andrew Zimmern can't do it that is something to worry about.

            2. j
              jeffreys Jan 24, 2012 11:59 AM

              Just wanted to pass on a funny story / warning about durian. We bought frozen durian, put it in a ziplock plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator. Apparently it fermented and yesterday, the plastic bag enclosing the fermented durian exploded inside our refrigerator. Several hours of cleanup ensued. Thankfully, there's no residual odor.

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