“On first tasting it I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction.” – Henri Mouhot, French Naturalist
So this week was going to be an automotive coup d’état (more details on that next week), but turns out that’s a lot more difficult that I had anticipated. So, in lieu of that, I ate a piece of durian. What is a durian? Covered in a hard, spiny & dangerous—seriously, it’s killed people before—shell, durian is a fruit from southeast Asia that has such a strong odor & distinct taste that it has separated the world into two camps. Those who love durian—it’s nickname is “the king of fruits”—& those with taste buds.
My friend Shawna has been on this Thai food kick lately & has brought back oddity upon oddity from the Asian market. She was in the kitchen with a bag when I meandered over. “Is the gas leaking?” her husband asked. I was a bit confused & then it hit me—the aroma that I’d imagine Taun-taun guts have—the smell of durian. Imagine tuna fish left in a car in a Kansas July mixed with rotten fruit & the stuff that comes out of grease traps. If you think I’m exaggerating, just ask any of the public places where it’s outlawed due to the smell:
Shawna was going to take a small bite, but it was so bad smelling that she was having second thoughts. “C’mon, I’ll take a bite if you do,” said brave & stupid me. God’s providence made the huge chunk fall off my fork, to be replaced by a tinier bit, then 1-2-3 & swallow the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. It tastes just like it smells & sticks with you no matter what you eat (I can attest to that a bag of blueberries, 3 shots of straight lime juice, a can of diet coke & several Reeses later). If you need more info, check out this video—the little kids’ reactions speak volumes (sorry for the cuss word in the quote).
As for me, I’m going to go gargle with sulfuric acid & try to get rid of this zombie-mouth after taste. We may be at the top of the food chain, but trust me, durian is king.