Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

King of Fruits


Kade and I went to Chanthaburi, Thailand, where a lot of durian is grown. I mean A LOT!  There's actually a durian festival held there.  On our visit, we actually took a tour of an orchard, where we saw durians growing on trees.  The red fruit is rambutan, another favorite fruit of mine.  

The durian is grown in Southeast Asia and is known for its unique size, odor and husky shell. In order to open it, a good pair of gloves and long, sharp knife are needed. Once you get through to the fleshy golden meat, the smell may overwhelm you.  Once you get past the unwelcome odor of the durian, only the eating remains. The fruit has a soft, delicate, creamy texture. If the durian is extremely ripe, the texture is a bit mushier. Some people don't want it quite this ripe. The next facet of the delightful durian is the taste. A good durian tastes like a very good egg custard with a hint of garlic and onions. Yes, garlic and onions.

One of the best descriptions of the durian that I ever read was this:

"It's like eating Haagen-Daz ice cream while sitting on a toilet." - anon.

The durian can be a hit-or-miss with people. It was a hit with me, and I grew to really love it.  In fact, Kade's dad would bring some home just for me.  He told Kade that I was more Thai than a Thai.

I do want to add that the durian is a very versatile fruit.  In an unripened state, it can be fried into durian chips.  It's a great snack that way. Plus, it doesn't have the farty aroma that, in the fresh form, makes some people want to flee.  The durian can also be made into a wonderful dessert.  Kade makes durian in coconut milk, served over sweet sticky rice.  It's delicious that way as well.  If you're ever in Asia and you want to try something exotic, check out the durian.  If you can't make it there, swing by one of Asian markets and get a whole durian.  They are shipped in frozen and they hold up pretty well.

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