but people do it. one long weekend in kuala lumpur with friends (and durian FIENDS) – and i’m a convert of this crazy weird thing they call a fruit.between the four of us, i think we averaged 10 durians a day, easy. and explored many of the 30 different types of durian: the milder red prawn, the potent musang king, the sweeter d-24. frankly, all kinds seemed potent to my new palate.they were also all expensive. one durian can cost over $20!
durian eating is ritualistic in kuala lumpur. tables of families everywhere, mostly locals, enjoying this weird fruit and the process around eating it.one tip to impress your taxi cab driver in kl – strike up a conversation around which particular kind of durian is your favorite. not only will they be totally shocked that a westerner likes their weird fruit, but they’ll undoubtedly have an opinion – a strong one – on the matter.
don’t expect said taxi driver to let you pick up a durian on your route, though. if they even smell it on you, they won’t let you in their cab. (believe me, we were rejected). hotels are covered in no durian signs, to the same extent we see no smoking signs. it’s ridiculously awesome.anywho, here’s how the whole durian thing works. some tips, if you will, to prevent you from looking like a silly westerner or buleh as they call us.
first you take the time to hunt down your stand. from blocks of options, who’s your durian guy? take your time, scope out the selection. and don’t disregard people selling out of the back of a truck or the trunk of their car. even if that car is parked in a fancy mall parking lot. that’s just a man that knows his audience. bargain over the price. you’re in southeast asia, after all.your chosen guy cracks open your durian, & you drool (if you aren’t already).you then plop down at the baby plastic seat and table, and arm yourself with gloves if you don’t want to smell forever (& i mean forever).pull out a section and prepare yourself for the taste explosion.and savor the deliciousness that is the custardy-sweet-savory fruit. suck on/around the seeds. it’s a sensual (sexual?) experience, really. and when you’re done, scrub at the inside of an empty shell with your fingernail, add salt and water to the natural cup, and drink. this little concoction will bring your body’s temperature back down to normal levels, after the durian’s intense heat.
if you didn’t use gloves and need to rid yourself of the terrible smell, wash off your hands after by pouring water on them with the back of the shell. something about that trick is magic.sometimes. buy another durian and repeat.
and when the durian(s) ends (and unless you’re moving to malaysia, they have to), try not to cry.but if you’re going to thailand, malaysia or indonesia anytime soon, do NOT miss out on the opportunity to experience this mind-boggling taste sensation!