If you asked me a few years ago if I wanted to voluntarily munch on a large chunk of mushy pulp from a hard-skinned and seriously pungent fruit, I would probably have said no, thank you. Particularly if you had said durian, since I HAVE in fact tried it twice before and donâ€™t recall it with any fondness whatsoever and have avoided it since. But for this blog and its readers, I have tried to go a bit out of my comfort zone and figured I should try durian yet again. So when someone in my Cebu office yesterday said there was a lot of durian in the markets, I immediately sent someone out to get some. The 2.2 kilo fruit in the less than flattering photo above arrived and began to smell up the office. Splitting open the near Jurassic-like skin was apparently a skill all its ownâ€¦it seems the skin has natural â€œcracksâ€ or fissures which make opening the fruit much easier. Once open, the pungent aroma quickly filled the room we were in and I reached in and took a massive piece from the near center of the fruitâ€¦
The first taste of this durian was shockingly bad. I actually nearly threw up and had to concentrate to get over the gag reflex. The flavor on the tongue was sort of akin to rotting organic matter of some kind. I donâ€™t mean to offend durian lovers, of which there are many, Iâ€™m sure, but the initial taste hit was rather distastefulâ€¦really. My colleagues kept egging me on to eat more and more as the pleasure was supposedly going to come after the pain or yuck factor up front. So I did. But I just couldnâ€™t get over the texture and the flavor, while less obnoxious in the subsequent mouthfuls, did not endear itself to me. Frankly, it had the mouth feel of Elmerâ€™s glue that had been out of the bottle for a few minutes and was starting to harden up combined with a mushy pulp of some sort. No, this is not one fruit that will zoom up to my Top 20 list! I suppose one just has to eat it enough to go from revulsion to conversion. I think of it as the legions of folks who donâ€™t like hot chilli but I personally love themâ€¦ so to each their own on Durian but I think Iâ€™ll pass on it again for now.