I have been trying a number of the fruits local to Asia and Malaysia. I have documented a few here that I have tasted and found one fruit local to this area that is indescribable. I don’t care what part of the world a fruit comes from, none can compare to the notorious Durian, known as the “king of fruits”, it is difficult to explain but I will try, but first a little information on some other fruits …
Rose Apple or Chom Poo
Indigenous to Thailand the rose apple is grown all over Asia. With the texture of a pear it is crisp, light in flavor, and sweet with a little tang.
Kaffir Lime or Makhrut
These ruddy little buggers are strong and potent. The leaves and fruit are mostly used in cooking of soups and Thai dishes and these guys leave a mouth puckered with not much else.
Dragon Fruit or Pitaya
Now this fruit has become a staple for me. I use to pass it up in the grocery because I wasn’t sure what it was. The dragon fruit has a delicate sweet taste similar to a kiwi. It’s about the size of a softball and the little seeds are so small they crack in the mouth, easily peeled and great for breakfast. Love this one.
Deep red and knobby with not much fruit inside, the seed takes up most of the space but the flavor is sweet with a medicinal taste. Not a favorite.
These are good and they taste like grapes. They have a tough skin which means they can be transported in a backpack easily.
Most are familiar with this one. I see it all the time in the US. Taste like chicken! ;)
It is Durian season in Malaysia. Stands are starting to pop up on street corners and outdoor food stalls, but buyer beware, no cab driver will allow you to enter a taxi with one, no hotel will allow you to come within 20 feet of the lobby with one in hand, it is the devils fruit…
Why all the fuss? When I first arrived in Malaysia I was walking through a grocery and the stench of something dead penetrated my nose so bad that I had to leave the area, I later found out it was Durian but people cannot get enough of this delicacy.
The smell, even unopened, is just unbelievable. You have to give this fruit some respect, there is no mistaking the pungent, putrid, bile smell of Durian. Once you get your first whiff of it, it is seared into the brain for all eternity and you will never forget it.
But there is a bright side, as bad as the smell is, the taste and texture make up for it. The fruit is sort of a pod and the texture is surprising, smooth, creamy, custard, pudding feel in the mouth, the taste reminds me of sweet vanilla pudding with a little onion taste. Amazing taste and texture.
Most stands will have a table to eat at or they will wrap the pod fruit in plastic wrap to take home. Don’t get any on your clothes. This fruit is amazing, you either love it or you hate it.
This area has a vast array of other fruits out there I have yet to try and according to Anthony Bourdain “To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.”