Durian, or 榴槤, is one of the most fiercely hated and at the same time one of the most fiercely loved of fruits. Enrobed in a prickly armour that defies all unprepared suitors, tearing shreds through any material silly enough to get close (like my skirts), it finally opens through skilled knifework to expose golden, tender, meaty and very smelly globes of fruit. My ex brother-in-law politely held down his bile at the appearance of this fruit, even though he is from France and surely must have suffered similar sensory traumas in his introduction to French cheeses? Those who love it can delicately dispose of great amounts of this fruit which I always view with awe since a tad too much causes me to wake up with pimples the next morning. And I never get pimples! So how to put durian, this King of Fruits to a real test of the human palate? I finally realized the solution the other day when I brought some durian home from the market and my little girl began jumping up and down with her wee hand clamped over her nose. 'Smelly, mom, smelly!' she cried.
Suddenly I knew what to do. What better way to test the unconditioned value of the durian than through the mouth of babes? So the first test was already administered, the smell test, which the durian, as always, had failed. Next was the all important taste test. I scooped a bit of the creamy luscious flesh with my finger and ate it myself. 'Yum!' I couldn't help exclaiming. Then I ate a bit more. Finally I scooped up a bit more and offered it to my little girl. She frowned and waved her hand in front of her little nose. 'Smelly, smelly!' she cried again. I urged her to try it anyways, telling her that it was like ice cream which the sweetness and creaminess of durian really do imitate. Eventually she opened her mouth and in popped the durian. I waited. No particular comment came. After a couple of minutes I casually scooped up some more durian and offered it again. She immediately opened her mouth for the fruit and ate quite happily. She ate as much as I offered that night, though I stopped soon as the durian is very 熱氣, or heating to the body, and one should really be careful how much is consumed.
So, from the mouth of babes, the durian taste test result are in: The smell is stinky but the taste is yummy!
**We're making durian ice cream (yummies!) with the lovely fruit so come back and check how that turns out!
More Fruity recipes at The Hong Kong Cookery:
Durian- King of Ice Cream as well apparently 榴槤雪糕
Lychee Popsicle 荔枝冰棒
Mango Ice Cream 芒果雪糕 Google