A couple years ago, one of my co-workers asked me if I had ever heard of a durian. When I said that I hadn't, she launched into a horrific description of the fruit's smell- going so far as to compare it to "rotting flesh" and how it would be unwise to eat one indoors because the durian's mighty stink would hang around for hours. After listening to her, I was equally repulsed and curious to try a durian, but they're not readily available at your local Shaw's. On Sunday, Nick and I were at the South Bay Center, which has a Super 88. Normally I don't have any reason to go in the Super 88; however, something made me think of the durian and I told Nick I wanted to go and buy one. After several failed attempts to find someone who could direct us to the durians, we found a cardboard box full of the spiked fruit sandwiched between crates of dead fish on ice in the seafood section. I picked one up and smelled it, and I could detect a mild inoffensive cantaloupe odor. Since I had no idea how to choose one, I grabbed one on top and asked Nick to carry it to the counter, because it was surprisingly heavy.
Nick was extremely wary of the durian
On Tuesday, I lugged the increasingly ripe (read: squishy) durian into work, and Wednesday afternoon we found an empty office and dove into the durian. At this point, it was so ripe that we were able to cut into the flesh with a plastic knife. Having prepared myself for the worst smell ever, I was mildly disappointed when at first it really didn't smell that strong or bad. I put my nose up close and inhaled, which in retrospect might not have been the smartest idea given the durian's reputation. It smelled like gas. Not the kind you put into your car, but the kind you pass. The texture was like tapioca pudding and the durian tasted like it smelled. Needless to say, I don't think the next drink craze will be the duritini.
Looks like a pineapple, tastes like a foot
After everyone had sampled the durian, the next problem was where to toss it since, due to the smell, I couldn't leave it in the office's kitchen garbage. I gathered up the leaky, lumpy mess, wrapped it in the plastic bag and walked it down five flights of stairs (I didn't want to risk stinking up the elevator with it) and threw it out in a garbage can in Faneuil Hall. Hopefully it cleared some of the tourists out of there.