Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No-stink Durian?

Recently, the New York Times published an article about the new genetically engineered Thai Durian fruit that has effectivly eliminated that nasty fermented fishy garbage scent native to Southeast Asia. Natural durian farmers are pretty upset because the more pungent the smell, the higher the price they can get for it. They aren't too scared though; they say it won't sell. Personally, I don't think any kind of durian should sell, but I've been wrong so far.

Natives go crazy about this stinky plague and deny that there is anything unusual about it. Soon after I got to Cambodia, my friend Anh Tuấn offered me a segment. After he convinced me to stick that disease in my mouth, he called the whole neighborhood over to watch me gag. If there wasn't anything weird about it, why was everyone so enthusiastic to watch me eat? (When I didn't finish my early-death fruit, they scavenged over the abundance I left on the table.) On subsequent and unfortunate occasions, I learned on many occasions that they hid this junk in many varieties of innocent foods: cookies, ice cream, hard candies... I'd take their notorious raw ginger root candy over durian any day.

Here are some signs I found on the internet prohibiting Durian from certain locals (like hotels and subways):
This sign from Singapore below is my favorite.


zabel said...

A societal menace on the scale of smoking? Hey, this could be the next big left-wing crusade!

S. said...

You seem to know an awful lot about durians, Kyle! Are all the pictures from your private collection? Brazil had a weird fruit that wasn't really stinky, but it tasted like grainy bubblegum and looked like a watermelon with an advanced case of cancer. If you ever go to Brazil, don't eat the jaca (jackfruit).