Oh Spiky Fruit, how I love thee

by Ervinna Hon , Jul 21, 2003 | Destinations: Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur

So luscious, so spiky So creamy, so yummy I inhale and I can smell you Even if its a thousand miles away Craving and longing desperately To feel you down in my tummy Down my throat to my belly To feel your smooth texture And taste you is such a bliss Oh yum yum yum I can't never get enough of you. (Inspired by the legendary Durian) Most non-Asian people say you are a stinking, rotten and bad fruit with your fragrance so strong, so pungent. Like a rotting egg after few months, or the decomposing leftover. You certainly are not, not even close, I denied. Such understatement of you is sad, but understandable. People say, either they will declare their love for you or they will hate you with all their might. There's no in between, like 'I quite love you'. That's what you are, life greatest outdoor fruit - awesomely delicious texture and a tantalizing fragrance to complete as a whole gift. Nature has endowed you in such way - exotic, ecstatic, enrapture and addictive fruit, the DURIAN. Omnipresent in almost everywhere when the durian season comes, your green spiky torn is rather startling and stand out compared to other fruits, like apples or bananas on the seller carts. I can't help but pullover to the durian seller by the roadside, besides the market that I'm supposed to be having a proper dinner. Well, how can a girl say no to such a nutritious and hearty dinner? The seller recognized me and gave me a boyish smile. I began to select my meal, examine, sniff and shake the fruits - the way dad taught me. Check the fruit stem to ensure its clear, solid and stiff. Unripe fruits would have thick, sticky sap. Also choose a comparatively light durian and shake it. If the sound of the seed moving could be heard, its a good one. I am yet to master this skill. The best indication would be inserting a knife in it, if its ripe the knife won't appear sticky. Avoid fruits with holes at all time, you obviously wouldn't want some worms squirming and crawling in a snakelike motion on your meal. Finally, the seller came over to demonstrate his skills. Tapping the durian with his knife, still grinning, he cut a triangular window in the rind to show me the flesh inside. I peered in and poked it. "I'll have that", I said before making my way to a little table at the back of the cart to have my solo durian dinner. A ripe durian naturally has hidden suture lines between the inner sections. Like a pro, he graciously knifed through the lines at the bottom end, splitting the hard thorny skin - revealing the rich yellow creamy flesh inside. My dinner was served. I gazed at it, grinning to myself and finally devoured it with such delightful motion only durian lovers can understand. It is not that kind of passionless nibbling, nor clumsy or primitive manner either. Just the perfect way! It is a complete natural meal high in carbohydrate, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins really. It could be a prosperity indulgence to the weighing scale if eaten too much and even has a heaty property. Locals normally will gulp down a glass of salt water to get off the heaty sensation in the body thereafter. It surely works for me. The fearsome after effect certainly goes for the release - the durian-scented burps. You could easily make somebody faint in a near range just by doing that. In Asia, the species of durians are different in each country. Appearance, color, fragrance and flavor differs. The one in the wild is always the best, being naturally ripen and drop from the tree, whereas Thai durians are cut down from the tree - perishing its best jungle aroma sadly. Fresh durians are best to be eaten naturally, although there are alternatives way to eat them. It can be made into durian ice-cream, durian ice-blended, durian cake or the Malaysian dodol, puffs, cookies, cendol and dried durian-cake. Some people preserve the flesh with salt to eat it with rice, some people fry it while others let it freeze in the fridge. Whatever way, it is still the durian itself that they are fond of. Even the durian flowers is a favourite food back in my hometown, Sarawak where it is cook with sambal belacan, giving it a remarkable and exotic taste. The overpowering smell is so great it has sketched its name in the world news when a concealed baggage of durian sparks terrorist alert at the Australian airport. The carpet deodorizer fails to eliminate its fetid aroma, leaving the plane passengers with a not pretty smell. It might sound hilarious to durian lovers but not so kind to most westerner who are turn off by the pungent smell. I leapt off the table and paid the durian seller before grinning at him again. He certainly did not overlook the satisfaction written on my happy face. I look just like other durian lovers there, eating at the spot, under the dim light of the market. Face aglow, a sense of euphoria and a tummy well fed.