Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Day #156

Today's new thing comes courtesy of my friend Jason in Singapore, who sent me durian, the King of Fruits.

I know, I thought I was the King of Fruits.

Jason explained:

Durian grows in the jungles of southeast Asia and is so popular that local newspapers breathlessly print reviews of each new crop. It is so pungent that it is banned in most hotels and on public transportation. They have u-pick-em durian farms in Malaysia but they are so big and spikey that you have to wear a hard hat and sit in huts until you hear the thump of one falling to the ground. Now that's good clean fun.

Here's what it looks like in its natural habitat:

Dried durian looks like old bones.

It is sweet and yet bitter. Like old, moldy candy.


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Mead said...

So that's what they mean by food porn.

Debbi said...

Now, are you sitting in the huts waiting for the fruits to fall all on their own? or are they being knocked down? in which case, you might be sitting in the huts for a very long time.

And as a side note. I didn't know you knew Hot Toddy. I met him last summer when he came to Chicago for the gay games. A wonderful and dear man.

CawfeeGuy said...

"like old moldy candy"...that's as ringing an endorsement as "that show was as good as Cats".

Jeff & Chris said...

My sister-in-law is from General Santos (Philippines) and says that people have been killed by falling fruit! She love it as candy and fresh where it is described as tasting like mashed onions - yummy!

malc said...

i was born & raised in singapore until age 22 when i ran away to california to go to art school.

my durian story:

actually, it's the durian story i tell, it didn't actually happen to me... guess that makes it durian hearsay.

while doing national service (mandatory for all male citizens) in the 41st armored regiment, a friend told me that he was trundling along in an armored personnel carrier in the jungle on maneuvers when one of the guys in the APC smelled something.

keep in mind, this is in a hot, crowded, diesel powered metal box on tracks. yet this fella managed to smell durian while cruising through the tropical jungle.

he sticks his head out the cupola and leads the APC to the durian tree. they use the APC to shake the durian tree while safely ensconced inside.

after gorging themselves on durian, the guys in the APC return to their rendezvous, they were on maneuvers after all.

unfortunately, durian's pungent and unmistakable odor lingers and the whole lot of them in the APC got into trouble with the CO (commanding officer) for their little excursion and larceny.

malc said...

my other durian story (yes, i have more than one) involves jonas gwangas, who at the time was the artistic director of amandala, the cultural arm of the african national congress (this is back in the late 80s).

i was working for the fringe festival of the singapore festival of the arts and met jonas and the rest of amandala when they came to perform in the fringe.

the director of the festival invited jonas and some of the staff to dinner where jonas recounts his first time tasting durians.

he described the smell as something akin to old gym socks.