DURIAN - My first introduction to this pungent fruit was frozen chunks Jere found at an Asian store in the states. He found great pleasure in watching me pin my nose while I tried to devour the fruit. Durian is known as the "King of the Fruits" due to its large size. Let me tell you, under that thorny rind this fruit packs a punch. Some hotels and public transportation forbid you from taking the fruit across the threshold. While some find the smell to be pleasant, others compare it to sewage; the latter winning out in most cases. The flavor is strangely sweet and similar to a nutty custard, that is if you can get past the smell. The fruit isn't native to Thailand but instead Indonesia, Malasia and Brunei. We purchased our shrink wrapped fresh durian at the Or Tor Kor market in Bangkok. After shopping, we found a taxi to head back to the room and piled our fruity treasures beside us. The Thai driver, nose upturned, mustered as much English as he could manage and promptly escorted our bag of durian to the trunk of the car. Oops!
Photo by Fotolia/Mau Horng