I don’t know how durian is considered a tropical fruit. Tropical fruits are sweet, brightly coloured, and after taking one bite into them, they bring back memories of beach vacations, cocktails, and suntans. Tasting durian did none of these things for me; in fact, the thought of tasting this “fruit” again makes me want to put duct tape over my mouth.
Durian can be found in Southeast Asia. It’s known as the “King of Fruits” because of its size (one fruit can weigh up to 7 pounds), thorn-covered exterior, and its pungent smell that reminds me of my brother’s hockey bag cooking in the oven.
Most of the people I’ve met while living in Singapore love durian. They add it into pastries, beverages, crackers, and even McDonald’s has a durian-flavoured McFlurry. I knew before I left this country I had to try durian. And now, I regret it (and I don’t have many regrets).
I’ve had visitors from Canada who wanted to try durian (above). I let them know about the smell, but they still wanted to try it. This was my door, my opportunity to try the king. I had my nose plugged the entire time and it still felt as though my nose hairs were being burned off. Looking at the fruit was just as bad as the smell. The bright yellow coloured centre looks like the inside of a brain. I didn’t want to prolong the torture any longer, so I took my first and last bite.
The durian tastes like it smells: a hockey bag. The centre was so creamy and thick it makes peanut butter seem like water. I could not open my mouth to chew, I could only gag. What’s worse is that the flavour lingered in my mouth for days. Not to mention I had the durian burps and I couldn’t get the smell out of my clothes. No wonder there are ‘No Durian’ signs on the metro and at most hotels. You simply can’t get rid of the smell.
After I told local friends I didn’t like the King himself, they told me there were different grades of durian, and that I should try it again. I have been told the grade of durian can change the taste, colour, texture, and smell of the entire fruit. Regardless of the grade, I will never be trying another durian again in my lifetime. I think Nature made the durian extremely stinky and covered in spikey thorns for one reason: to stay away from it.