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My father and I discussed durian on many occasions. He was a regular visitor to Malaysia and Singapore on business, and would regale me with tales of this evil smelling fruit. I tried it when I first visited Singapore, and I actually did eat durian ice cream in Malaysia on another trip.

Of course, in the summer, you smell it all over Chinatown. And perversely, it's the texture I find more off-putting than the smell.

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On 4/19/2021 at 4:40 PM, Steve R. said:

Just about the only food I passed on at a World Tong dim sum ages ago.  Sivan was happy to eat my share.

Was that the MF World Tong dim sum gathering that I went to, with the durian crullers?  If so, that was my first time ever trying durian, and even without knowing what I was eating I figured out what it was.

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On 4/20/2021 at 8:45 PM, StephanieL said:

Was that the MF World Tong dim sum gathering that I went to, with the durian crullers?  If so, that was my first time ever trying durian, and even without knowing what I was eating I figured out what it was.

Yes!

Since then we had fresh Durian in Thailand and learned how terrific it really is. 

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"When I'm...er...concentrating," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well-made. With dinner, a small dry sherry with the soup, an ordinary Sancerre with the fish, then a vintage Bordeaux or Burgundy with the meat. Port if there's cheese, brandy with the cigars."

He paused. "Of course, if I'm not...er...concentrating, I precede dinner with two or three Vesper martinis, a decent share in a bottle of champagne, or a liter stein of very strong, very cold Pilsner. But rarely all three."

I may have posted similar material before, but it still makes me laugh.

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Going back to durian, my dad and I were in Bangkok (his first time back in about 15 years), and we were out somewhere around the Victory Monument, I think. Or maybe Pathumwan. And he found reasonably priced durian paste, which was one of his favourite things in place of fresh durian, so he bought about 5 or 10 kg of the stuff. We had three or four bags and they were heavy! And to top it off, he made us take the bus back to our hotel which was a loooong trip on a crowded bus in hot weather. I was very annoyed. And all I could smell was durian the whole bus ride back, and then in our hotel room. 

Back in the 70s, my mother was in Bangkok for a few days, and my paternal grandmother went to visit her at the hotel she was staying at. As a gift, my grandmother brought her a whole durian. I guess this was before posh hotels had rules about durian, or maybe not and my grandmother didn't care (there's no way she would have been refused). It was a couple of days before the American in the neighbouring room begged the housekeeper to ask my mother to please throw the durian away because he couldn't stand the smell. My poor grandmother took a great deal of time picking out the best durian, too. Or at least the fruit vendor did, because she sat in the back seat of her air conditioned vehicle while the vendor went back and forth, bringing durian to her until one met her standards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To kickstart my brain in the morning, I like to do the NYT Spelling Bee. I've only gotten to Queen Bee (the highest level) a few times, but I can almost always make it to the second-highest level, Genius. Here's the word that got me there today.

idiot.png.ffaf79531cba555faab840485b63ad20.png

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Ad currently appearing on Eater, created I suppose by someone who doesn't know how to pronounce Blaufränkisch. I guess they got the third syllable right. The second syllable would be right, if it wasn't for the pesky umlaut.

wrong.png

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