Preparing a Durian
In the UK, preparing a Durian is not a skill I ever learnt. Apples, oranges, strawberries, grapes perhaps a very 'exotic' and occasional peach were about as varied as my fruit intake ever was and the most difficult skill I ever learned as a tight fisted Yorkshireman was how to peel an orange in my pocket!
Here in Thailand however, the fruit is like everything else, complicated. It just doesn't seem to want to be eaten without a load of preparation and there is a definite possibility of losing necessary body appendages before flesh ever gets anywhere near your mouth!
Durian is of course, "The King of Fruit" and carries legendary status throughout South-East Asia and is generally in season between early May and the middle of June, the specimen we brought back up from Samui is one of the very last of the year. If you've never come across them, they are the smelliest, most disgusting things on the planet.
Smells like hell. Tastes like heaven
Is how the saying goes. They are also ridiculously expensive, with varying grades that range in price between $10 and $20USD per kilogram. The most expensive one ever sold was in a Thai charity auction and cost a whopping (£37,750; $48,000) source.
If you suspect me of over exaggerating, they are banned on many forms of public transport, aircraft and many hotels. This is a fruit that has its own signage!
The the edible part of the fruit sits in a bed, reminds me a lot of horse chestnuts (conkers) although obviously minus the smell!
After all is said and done, I think a lot of drama and fuss is just hype. I personally don't think they smell that bad and they taste OK, but nothing special but trust me, the Thais take them very seriously!
With this in mind, and after watching a great number of YouTube videos, I went for it, and overall, I don't think I did a bad job!
It's actually difficult to get a sense of scale and perhaps I ought to have placed a ruler at the side of it but it's about 16 inches from tip of the stalk to the bottom.
The knife I'm using is a 9" blade, and I sharpened it especially as the husk is very tough but once you get the first segment of shell off, you can tear the rest of it off.
You need a cloth to hold it as the spines are very sharp. If you look closely, you can see the natural segments in the shape of the fruit so starting in the middle and working to the top, then back to the bottom, you can follow the lines.
This yellow flesh is what we're after that's buried in the husk. Its about the consistency of Play-doh. The seed is also buried in the flesh and needs to be removed, of course. If the fruit is ripe, the flesh will simply lift out.
And here is the seed. It's about 2" in size and there were 3 in total in this fruit.
Around the other side and again, the flesh just slid out and can be placed into an air-tight storage box and into the fridge.
And this is what we get from one fruit! An awful lot of waste and messing about but...
...the wife and her student Neuy were very happy.
Happy wife, happy life!
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