Monday, November 22, 2010

DURIAN - A Quote and A Warning

Writing in 1856, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace provides a much-quoted description of the flavour of the durian:
The five cells are silky-white within, and are filled with a mass of firm, cream-coloured pulp, containing about three seeds each. This pulp is the edible part, and its consistence and flavour are indescribable. A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience. ... as producing a food of the most exquisite flavour it is unsurpassed.[22][a]

Quote from Wikipedia.

My Indonesian friends told me the 'saying' is no longer true, so for the sake of good neighborliness I'm taking it out - bisa aja pak!. Durian being an aphrodisiac has not been proven scientifically, so I better don't make any statement which can be construed as a claim. You will have to try it for yourself to find out.

DO NOT however, over indulge: too much of this fruit will overheat your body. Drink plenty of water if you do. Folklore has it that if you drink the water using the husk as a drinking 'cup' your body will not feel the heat. Again this has not been proven scientifically as far as I know.

It is not advisable to consume alcohol after eating durian.

Next: how to balance it all up...


Jennifer said...

Interesting! The only thing I have heard about this fruit is that it tastes good but smells terrible. I have never even seen one though so I wouldn't know.

Sunflower said...

I looooooove durians. I once told a friend that I could never emigrate because to leave Malaysia would be to leave durians! (Well, it depends where I'd be moving to, but most people emigrate to places like Australia, the US or UK, which don't have durians, as far as I know...)

Adina West said...

Didn't know about its claimed aphrodisiac status I'll admit!

The flavour is quite unusual though - I actually found it kind of pepper-hot at times, which is an odd flavour sensation for a sweet fruit.

I was told by friends not to eat more than a few pieces my first time - maybe that was for one of the above reasons!

Akelamalu said...

The only thing I've ever heard about Durians is the notices in aiports saying it is forbidden to take them onboard the aeroplane! LOL

Theres just life said...

I am really enjoying reading about the fruits and seeing the pictures. I have always loved to learn new things.
Thanks for the informative posts.

Grandpa said...

Jennifer,admittedly the smell needs getting used to. And don't keep them in an enclosed place either, like your car boot! Supermarkets may sell frozen ones, or Chinatown, if you have one in your area.

Sunflower, thanks for dropping by! We share a passion it seems... They do have durians in the countries you mentioned, exported frozen - won't be as nice, of course - it's nothing like prying open the thorny husk yourself, is there?

Adina,it is a well known fact amongst us Asians, and I think you would feel the effect too, if you consume enough of it!

Akelamalu, that's true, for any confined area would accentuate what is a disagreeable aroma for some

Theres just life, good to see you PJ. Glad you enjoyed reading this, as I had fun writing them

Chai Chai said...

I wish you could send me some! This sounds delicious.

Grandpa said...

Hi Chai Chai, I can, but they'll have to frozen ones. I've never done this before but I can always find out