D is for Durian
No visit to Davao is complete without eating this famous fruit, Durian. Visitors often eat it on a dare. The odor can be overwhelming---I had an urge to puke as the aroma hit my nose. But the rich, sweet flavor, silky texture and consistency are unforgettable, even indescribable.
Durian is eaten by hand, like jackfruit and marang. Fresh durian is available in the markets all over Davao City, and it is widely known in Southeast Asia as the "king of fruits". The edible flesh emits a distinctive odor, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. This is one fruit that you cannot eat in secret because the whole neighborhood would know if you're eating durian---they can definitely smell it! Some people, like my mother, find durian fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting.
Durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio and the Malvaceae family. It contains high amount of sugar, Vitamin C, potassium, a good source of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
British novelist Anthony Burgess writes that eating durian is "like eating raspberry blancmange in the lavatory". While Anthony Bourdain, a lover of durian, describes his encounter with the fruit---"Its taste can only be described as...indescribable, something you will either love or despise. Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother."
Pregnant women and people with high blood pressure are traditionally advised not to eat durian.
|a vendor preparing our Durian|
I eat durian every chance I get. I have also tried durian candy and durian ice cream. Durian season in Davao starts in August until October.
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