Durian. Need I say more?
-- Anthony Bourdain
-- Smithsonian Magazine
"...a smell so overpowering that generations of Singaporeans have struggled to find a single description that fits. Among the charitable, printable comparisons: overripe cheese. Rotting fish. Unwashed socks. A city dump on a hot summer's day."
-- The New York Times
Liars. All of them.
The staff of Share Our Strength joined me in the durian dare as a way to say "thank you" to all of you who donated to our campaign here on the blog this year. And you know what? DURIAN DOESN'T SMELL BAD.
Now, let me say this: tasting it wasn't awful, either. Texturally, it was kinda squicky... but the taste wasn't terrible. The only even semi-objectionable part of the experience was the film it left on the roof of my mouth, and a few hours after I'd eaten it? I burped, and that was not a pleasant experience. Sneezing a few minutes after that? Also not enjoyable. But all it took was a simple brushing of the teeth, a scraping of the tongue, and a few glasses of water, and that all went away.
Hate to disappoint, but I'm here to dispel the myth that durian is the worst thing ever. It's not. It's sweet, but not sugary-sweet. Just lightly sweet, like a banana milkshake. It's custardy. It's fragrant. It's a bit like an almond-flavored avocado with a light tang in the aftertaste. Touching its flesh was like touching the flesh of a mango.
But it's not awful. It's not disgusting. It's not the worst thing ever. Not even close.
p.s. -- the durian was from HMart, in case anyone wants to head out there and pick up one for themselves...