Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Produce Perspective (part two)

Durian Experience 

I first saw the infamous durian fruit at market stands in the neighborhood near our hotel in Beijing. Later on, they reappeared in stands in Kunming. Fruit were sold whole, and were usually the rinds were slices open to reveal the the edible fruit inside (I also often wondered how long they would keep them cut and in the open air before they were no longer food safe).
This photo was borrowed from Health Habits (http://healthhabits.ca/2014/06/03/the-best-tasting-fruit-you-have-never-tasted/) 

Finally, when venturing through Guilin’s downtown in search of dinner, I came across a vendor selling individual, pre-cut chunks of the flesh and not entire fruit. I hoped to sit down for the experience of trying the fruit, and caught wafts of its sweet onion scent from the plastic bag which held the to-go box in which my prize resided. Aware of its reputation for smelling and tasting very horrible (it is illegal to bring durians into some public places in parts of Asia), I was ready to taste the fruit. I had milk tea in hand to wash away the taste if I found it displeasing.

Opening the container, the smell was unmistakable, but not immediately revolting. When prodded, the ultra-soft and pale, yellow flesh creamed away from the large, tan seed inside. Plastic spoon transferred a cubic centimeter of meat to my mouth, and it tasted just as delicious as it smelled. I cared for none more, thought the fruit too smelly to bring to my hotel room and too disgusting to share, discarded the remainder, swished my mouth with my beverage of rid of the taste without immediate effects. 
I must have acclimatized to the flavor over time. However, brushing my teeth that evening must have disturbed what bits of the fruit were caught because I remember being revisited with hints of its presence once more in between sweet mint toothpaste. I purchased durian fruit candy while exploring a Chinese Walmart, and have yet to muster the motivation to learn whether or not sugar and a taffy texture improve the experience of durian consumption. I’ll be sure to have something with a stronger flavor that milk tea on hand to wash out the taste if needed. Drinking the liquid form of lime Jello gelatin comes to mind, as it was the rinse of choice as a child whenever I had to take particularly revolting medicine. Nonetheless, if the opportunity to try fresh durian fruit arises, I wholly recommend participating in the experience. And overall, if you’re a fan of the new and amiably unfamiliar, give some new fruits and flavors a try, or find something that reminds you of home but is slightly different. 

No comments:

Post a Comment