rural

Durian Shack at Dempsey Hill

I pass this Durian stall along my Dempsey Hill running route. It is set up in one of the outlying carparks of the area; the surroundings are very green and rather rustic, reminiscent of rural Malaysia.

Rustic Facilities

One of the durian’s claims to fame is its reputation as the world’s smelliest fruit. Its odour is pervasive and it is banned from buses & trains, and in fact, many public places.

Image from wikipedia

The durian is a beloved delicacy in Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Its taste and smell, however, take some getting used to. The creamy fruit is notoriously potent—in fact, it’s so smelly that Singapore’s public transit systems tell passengers not to bring them onto subways or buses. And yet, despite its stinky reputation, it can be found practically everywhere: In curries, cakes, and even ice cream. For visitors, biting into the fruit can be an utterly confusing and contradictory experience.

mentalfloss.com

Most who have encountered it feel very strongly: either they love it, or abhor it. The Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei describes the taste as “vomit-flavoured custard“, whereas Giovanni Battista Cerruti, an Italian explorer in 1908 said “I must say that I have never tasted anything more delicious“.

Durian is not permitted in our home: Loving Husband is the only one who enjoys it and the rest of us cannot tolerate its presence. So when we travel, he takes every opportunity to enjoy it with other durian lovers.

Durian Feast during our trip to Ipoh, Malaysia, in the summer of 2019. On the left photo, from left: my brother, my Dad, Loving Husband, Loving Husband’s cousin, brother’s son. Photo on the right are 2 of the fruits sampled.

Have you had durian before? Would you be keen to try?

This post is my contribution to One Word Sunday: Rural hosted by Debbie at TravelWithIntent

22 Comments

  1. My mom ate nothing but durian and corn when she was pregnant with me. But alas, I can’t stand the smell or sight of the stuff… 😛

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    1. Oh my gosh! Did she eat them both together? It’s so funny, one would think you would love durian after she ate so much with you in utero! How do you feel about corn?

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      1. Hahaha. I like corn just fine. I’m sure if I was raised in Thailand or around durian, like corn, I’d be okay with it. Maybe… Durian can smell SO strong. 😛

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  2. Looks like a very pretty area. I have never heard of a durian. Based on the description of the taste by the Malaysian guide, I don’t think I could bring myself to taste it. Just sounds really gross.

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    1. If you’ve seen it in the grocery store, it would likely be de-shelled. If you’ve seen a similar looking fruit with its husk on, it could have been a jackfruit.

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