Culinary Bucket List: Durian

I’m sure we all have a bucket list — whether on paper or just in our heads — and it contains a variety of important items. (Actually, I hate the term “bucket list” but I use it for lack of another. It’s the “things to do before you kick it” list.)

I have several lists … one for travel, books to read, general life accomplishments. But I also have one for culinary adventures. Things I have to eat before I go.

At the top is a Durian. This spiky fruit (is it a fruit?) is native to Southeast Asia, and I’ve been mesmerized by it ever since I saw one on Anthony Bourdain‘s show several years ago.

The Durian apparently engenders quite strong reactions in people — the smell is so pungent that it’s banned in many places, and you can’t transport it on airplanes or subways, in any enclosed space.

The taste and texture are “acquired.” Its flesh is egg yolk-yellow with a custardish consistency. I’ve heard it tastes like anything from mushy, rotten onions to slightly sweet, smelly feet. Yum.

Tony described it as such: “Its taste can only be described as … indescribable, something you will either love or despise. Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.” I love him.

I’m not always that culinarily adventurous, though I’ll try most things — excepting organs, organ byproducts and insects. I’m so curious about this Durian that I just have to have it … someday. Have you ever eaten a Durian? What did you think? I can’t believe I’ve never encountered one, but I probably haven’t been looking hard enough.

What’s on your culinary bucket list?


3 thoughts on “Culinary Bucket List: Durian

  1. This one is on my list as well. I discovered thru AB on same program. I haven’t sought one out yet but I know some people who are addicted to them. I am also fascinated by the thousand year egg, although I’m not sure I’m brave enough.

  2. Heather P. says:

    Um. Gross? 🙂 I’ll live vicariously through you on this one. French-kissing your dead grandmother? Wow. Ew. heh. 🙂

  3. Ooh, this is on my list too! Tony can persuade me to try just about anything, I think. Can’t figure out where to get a Durian, though, but I haven’t been looking that hard either. What scares me is that in some parts of Asia, they are banned from public transportation because of the smell. I’m not sure how I’d get a Durian home without my car stinking to high heaven.

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