Saturday, October 20, 2012

What’s that very strong smelling fruit?

You are most probably referring to the famous "Durian" – known in Asia as the "king of fruit" though its very odiferous nature, has made it a banned item in public places like hospitals, shopping centres and hotels. In Thailand, drivers of taxis and air-conditioned public transport won't allow you to bring the cut fruit on board. 

For provincial un-airconditioned transport it is usually up to the vehicle driver - you'll usually be in luck if he is a Durian lover. When it comes to Durian that is how society is divided - those who can't get past the smell to even try it and those who can't stop eating it because it tastes so wonderful. (In Thailand the latter group seems larger than the former, which is okay as the non-fans are thankfully protected by the ban!)

Every so often on my trips to Chantaburi  province (where my friend lives) I am asked to bring some Durian back with me – it is at Chantaburi that the World Durian Festival in May is held.

Native to Southeast Asia, the Durian is a formidable looking fruit, (maybe a natural warning?), and the fruit is housed inside a skin of hardened spikes – which is certainly dangerous if it falls of its tree and you happen to be standing underneath.

To eat the Durian, the housing is carefully split and the fruit emerges with a very distinctive smell (and taste), both of which I find unappealing. So the Durian always reaches my friends untouched and I never want any.

But I suggest that you try it because you might like it?


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