Fresh Durian- at last!!!

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Virgil Evetts

Anyone with a taste for the truly exotic should head down to their nearest Asian fruiterer. Hot on the heel of my article last week about tropical fruit, the very first [ever] shipment of whole fresh durian has arrived from Thailand. They’re selling for a rather steep $15.95 per kilo [each fruit weighs at least 2 kilos]. I couldn’t resist and I’m now facing the deliciously daunting task of devouring an entire durian on my own [my best beloved won’t even have them in the same room as her]. Even if you can’t bring yourself to buy one its’ worth the trip just to breathe in that deliciously fetid aroma. If you’re in Auckland central head over to the fruit shop under the Rialto car park in Newmarket. Go on, I dare you…

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19 thoughts on “Fresh Durian- at last!!!

  1. How many New Zealanders would buy this fruit, considering the price and the smell? The taste of this fruit is worth overcoming the smell.

  2. Its like eating lollipop in a public toilet. But I like it.
    Can anyone let me know where can I buy the fresh durian around wellington, if not can I order it online.

  3. Hi there, I can’t afford to buy a durian, but would like the shell of it once you have devoured and adored eating the durian fruit itself. I am as glass artist, but I fashion vegetables (some) in cast glass, lead crystal and was looking for a small durian so I can make a mould of it and cast it so it has to be no less than 20cm long x 10cm wide approx. I would be grateful to take it off your hands but I live in South West Auckland. However, I will be coming to the city in the next three or so weeks and can collect.

    Thank you for considering my weird request for just the shell.. lol.

    Susan K Louie
    Sculptor, Cast Glass.

  4. I love durian especially coming from Singapore.
    I go to the asian markets here and unfortunately I have been having the frozen once. It,s ok but the fresh once would be nicer. I have to be bold and try them from Newmarket.

  5. Can anyone help – I’m looking to find where I can purchase fresh quince in Auckland to make quince paste??? I live on the North Shore but happy to go wherever I need to go. I look forward to hearing from anyone. Thank you Ranee

  6. Virgil, how could I forget Durian. I had Durian icecream in Singapore and when I think about it, I feel sick. What an acquired taste that must be.

  7. Heather has your family spent time in SE Asia? Otherwise that’s some impressively unorthodox taste for an English family!
    I for one would LOVE to have your recipes. If they’re not published recipes feel free to post here.
    I finished my durian last night. Interestingly it had very little of the oniony flavour most people object to. Even my partner ate a bit.

  8. Both my British father and later my English partner love the fruit. Will have to tell them where to go to get fresh. One sister loves them and the other won’t be in the same room. Usually described as “Smells like Hell and Tastes like Heaven”.
    Have heaps of recipes using them in cakes, etc if anyone interested. The smell not so strong when cooked in the cakes, more a whiff than a slap.

  9. To be honest I was the same for years. My first encounter involved a little old Balinese woman ‘kindly’ giving me a piece and then gaffawing with laughter when I wretched!

  10. I’m usually happy to try any type of food – I’ve done the huhu grubs, kina and muttonbirds and have no moral qualms about Bambi or bunnies. So it’s not an attitudinal thing – I truly despise the smell. Makes me gag. I’ve even tried rotten corn which, while pongy, tastes quite pleasant. So for anyone who can manage to get durians past their nose – I applaud you and I’m envious. I wish I could.

  11. Janer I’d have my durian over your mountain oysters any day! That’s just wrong!! When I brought it home I was told ’well you’re lucky it’s not raining tonight cos your not eating it in here’ I chose to save it for the weekend when I could at least eat it in the day light and at temperatures above zero. It has sat on the balcony frightening my cat since then.

    Yes, Margaret the rotten corn comparison is pretty apt, although I haven’t quite got to the point of finding that stuff divine just yet.

  12. Virgil, we’ve been here before. Can’t get it past my nose, which is a large and overly sensitive proboscis. I’m stunned your best beloved will have you in the house until the season ends! It’s a sewer in a fuit guise which is why the powers that be refuse to allow people to consume this ‘fruit’ (I wanted to say something foul but restrained myself)publicly.

    I’ll stick to tripe, lambs fry, mountain oysters and sheeps’ hearts’ thank you very much.

  13. They have a natural seam which splits open fairly easily when they are ripe. The best [ widely quoted] description of the flavour comes from Alfred Russel Wallace- the great Victorian naturalist whose work was a big inspiration to Darwin.
    ‘The five cells are silky-white within, and are filled with a mass of firm, cream-coloured pulp, containing about three seeds each. This pulp is the edible part, and its consistence and flavour are indescribable. A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience’
    Too true.