EAT: Mmmmmmm, love those summer fruits. Durian On Line, I kid you not, will tell you more than you could possibly want to know about what is really more a punishment than a fruit. Planting, market information, crop statistics, recipes, stories, mythology and much, much more. They even have durian cartoons. Deeply wacky.
~ Sydney Morning Herald
Breakfast: Special K
A Lion in Winter
(Now that I've seen the movie, it's time to review the play!)
THE GOD OF ALL FRUIT
22 May 2004
Last time it was sunflowers. Today it was exotic fruit.
I was lying on my back looking at the ceiling in Cindys office again. A couple of days ago, I bit into a raisin in my bowl of Raisin Bran and next thing I knew, I had a hole in my tooth. I thought I might have broken off a filling, but no, it was a piece of tooth with a bit of decay behind it, so we have scheduled a follow up appointment for the end of next month.
But while she took x-rays, and checked out the tooth, I was checking out the exotic fruit poster. I was musing on the number of weird looking fruit and then I looked closely. Surely it would be there, and indeed it was....
Oh that took me back!
I dont remember when durian first entered our lives, but it was somewhere on an old CompuServe discussion board, around 1998 or 99. Someone mentioned eating it or something, and waxed eloquent on the wonders of durian.
Naturally we were all intrigued. (Im always intrigued when I hear about new food that is supposed to be delicious.)
There was a lot of discussion about durian and I did some research on the then-fledgling Internet. The intriguing thing about durian seemed to be that it was the worst smelling plant in the world, but yet the flesh inside had the taste and consistency of the most delicious custard youve ever eaten.
Or so they said.
In Southeast Asia, it is known as The God of All Fruit.
People carrying durian, however, are not permitted to ride public transportation.
We were all both repulsed and intrigued and there was a part of me which began to build this marvelous fantasy about the ecstasy that could be mine from tasting a piece of durian.
In April of 1999, the womens group of CompuServes Issues forum planned a get-together in Austin, Texas. While we were the "Womens Issues" group, we were not exclusive and there were men who joined us on some of our gatherings. Walt frequently comes, Bill from Portland has been a regular for many years. And Mike, of San Antonio, lived close enough that he planned to come to Austin and party with all of us as well.
Mike also knew where to purchase durian in Texas and so we gave him the job of bringing durian to the gathering so we could all experience the wonders of The God of All Fruit together.
The problem, however, was there never seemed to be time to cut it open and participate in a durian-agapé. Im not sure what Mikes car must have smelled like, but he did carry the fruit around for a couple of days. We kept planning to all gather together and taste it, but there never seemed to be time.
On our last day--a day when the Texas heat was beginning to settle in for a long spell, we were all packing up to go home. By this time Mike had already left, without his chance to taste durian. I dont remember who became The Keeper of the Durian, but he had left it behind for the rest of us to enjoy.
Most of the folks had gone, and we were down to the hangers on and we actually had some time on our hands.
It was finally durian time.
I think it was Mary who had the thing and we agreed that gathering poolside at the motel and cutting it up on one of the hotel tables would be the best plan--certainly better than cutting it up in the lobby, or in one of our rooms.
The durian, now a couple of days ripe, was definitely living up to its promise of the stinkiest of all fruit. But we knew that if we could just get beyond the smell of the skin, there were glories awaiting us on the inside.
The cut was made.
We lined up to take our tastes.
Uh. Lets just say that on the durian web site there is a list of wonderful recipes that one can make with durian and I probably will never sit down and make durian ice cream, durian cake, or durian sticky rice.
After wed each had our taste, we were left with a whole lot of durian that nobody wanted to eat. Mary found a garbage can by the pool and deposited the remains of our taste test.
Weve often wondered how long it took the residents of the hotel to report to the
management that something terrible must have died somewhere and how long it took the
groundspeople to find the remains of the God of All Fruits. And how long it took for
people to feel comfortable going out to sit by the pool again!!