Durian gets a bad rap. It has been described as having a smell ranging from stinky feet to rotting garbage. Some say it's redolent of gas leakage. You're prohibited from eating it in public in some areas of the world. And even that bald guy on the Travel Channel, the one who will willingly eat a roasted goat penis, refuses to put Durian past his palate.
So why, you might ask, should you even bother with this olfactory offender? Because it is THE BOMB.
It's not called The King of Fruit for nothin.
The durian is the fruit of a tree family that includes hibiscus and okra. This fruit is not just about stank. It's high in fiber, and it's a good source of Thiamin, Vitamin B6 and Manganese, and Vitamin C. Some people are turned off by the calories (1 cup of durian contains 13 grams of fat and 357 calories), but raw foodists understand that counting calories isn't necessary. You'll find that you fill up on durian pretty quickly, so share the smelly love with some adventurous friends.
How the hell do you open this thing?
Inside each of these spiked footballs lies individual pillows of creamy goodness, surrounding a small seed. To open the fruit beast, you can find a natural seam, and take a chef's knife or serrated bread knive, cutting along, then splitting open.
This is the Barry White of fruits, baby.
Besides being a nutritional champ, durian is known for its, uh, aphrodisiacal effects. I've heard tales of durian parties that turned everyone into a pile of bliss. I witnessed firsthand a guy trying durian for the first time. He started to sweat, and became euphoric, claiming that durian could save the world.
What does it taste like?
Everyone has a different opinion on this. I think it tastes like a flan with onions. But it's really good. How it looks may be a bit off-putting. As you can see, the inside resembles an eviscerated alien. The only way you'll find out is to try it. It took me two tries to get into the durian groove. Now, I can't deny that it definitely makes me buzz with pleasure, and eating it is, in itself, a sensual experience. So I'm down with the durian.
Try it! You may like it. You may also hate it.
If you want to dip your little toe in the stinky pool instead of jumping in, here's an easy and delicious way to try durian:
Durian Shake, Rattle and Roll
- 4 durian pods
- Meat and water of 1 young coconut
- 1 banana (frozen works great)
- 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
- 1 tspb maca
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
- squirt of agave