Like eating vanilla custard in a latrine

Mobile Durian in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Photo credit: Liz.

So says Anthony Burgess, regarding the King of Fruit: durian (thouren). I’m still on the fence about durian. I understand their sensuous, visceral appeal, and the obsession with certain cultivars and terroir. I have seen people in intense arguments about whether a specific fruit came from Kampot, the seat of the throne for durian in Cambodia. It is a fruit that is suggestive of raw violence. But despite the best efforts of friends to persuade me with younger, milder “beginner’s durian”, I can’t seem to generate any personal passion for or against them.

7 thoughts on “Like eating vanilla custard in a latrine”

  1. This is the most amazing fruit ever! The creaminess of the flesh…I’m starting to drool just thinking about it. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea though. Maybe you should start with durian ice cream like my husband did…

  2. Freshness is key, I’ve been pretty lucky with durian so far.

    I’ve got a mild obsession with taking photos of hotel signs that warn against bringing durian inside rooms; usually in broken English. FruitPorn?

  3. I love durian. To me they taste like sweet floral avocados. (And no I’m not being ironic/ sarcastic). I truly adore them and I can’t understand what people don’t like about them. But then again I find watermelon to be the most repulsive fruit, I can’t stand the smell or the taste, ick.

    The whole Kampot thing is a bit overblown I think. I was once told by a Khmer colleague that Thai people will pay the price of 2 Thai durians for one from Kampot, but I somehow doubt that most Thai people even know where Kampot is.

    I find the degree of national food pride in Cambodia somewhat incredible…but deeply endearing

  4. Absolutely disgusting stuff. And as for CIn’s comment above – I can’t understand why anyone would create an ice cream flavor reminiscent of rotten onions sauteed in fetid oil. Ick.

    – Michael

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