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Old 06-25-2007, 12:02 PM   #21
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durian is definitely an acquired taste, and one i am not putting on my list to acquire!

some describe the flavor as "smoky"

but you have to get around the smell - which i've heard described as "carcass!" so plug your nose and dig in!

are there any mysterious health benefits to eating it?

i've seen durian ice cream...
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:05 PM   #22
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Consider yourself lucky! Durian is an expensive acquired taste. This is probably one of the most expensive fruit around. I love it, but boy, is it expensive!
I have a submariner's perspective on what really smells bad, but the actual fresh durian fruit doesn't seem so bad to me.

Of course Sam's right that it's almost cheaper to fly yourself to a Thai farmer's market than it is to fly the fruit to you.

Sam, I thought your response was going to bring the whole thread down to the level of fish paste. That's a taste I'm going to need a very long time to acquire... not as easy as kim chee!
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:06 PM   #23
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are there any mysterious health benefits to eating it?
Yes. One of the best way to lose weight. Once you spent your money on top quality fresh durian, you won't have any left to buy other food!

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Sam, I thought your response was going to bring the whole thread down to the level of fish paste. That's a taste I'm going to need a very long time to acquire... not as easy as kim chee!
Fish paste, shrimp paste, and "ma('m" (pickled meat or fish or vegetable). All acquired taste from SE Asia. The only thing I can say is: If you don't know what they are, if you don't like them, keep it that way! I have seen more than my share of Americans who are addicted to these "authentic" food. They spend too much time, too much money on the few real Vietnamese, Cambodian restaurants around here.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:20 PM   #24
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Yummy: Dried cuttlefish, crawfish, beef tongue, homemade "headcheese", oysters on half shell, anchovies & cream cheese on club crackers, snails, green tomatoes, and sometimes eel

Gross: Meatloaf, bell peppers, curry, kimchee, monkey, pigs feet, and sometimes eel, oh - and anything a la adobo prepared by the Navy

Thanks to whoever for creating Jello salads with fruit and sometimes veggies (and with a blob of mayo or whip cream - depends on the contents) My fave is a berry jello with walnuts, cranberries, celery, carrots and pineapple....mmmmmm!
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:24 PM   #25
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I have a submariner's perspective on what really smells bad, but the actual fresh durian fruit doesn't seem so bad to me.
From skimming a wikipedia article, it sounds like when it is very fresh (barely ripe), the smell isn't too bad. Once it gets overly ripe, the smell takes off exponentially.

I've had the barely ripe kind, and the taste was pretty good. Kind of a mix between starfruit and Boston Creme donut filling. Smell wasn't bad at all.

I actually mistook the extremely ripe durian fruit DW brought home once as either rancid chicken scraps she had thrown in the trash a few days earlier, or a natural gas leak.

I figured the cookies I bought would have synthetic durian flavor and not have much of an odor. To my surprise, I was very wrong. The whole house is now "stunk up". Even my wife (who has no problem with fish paste and rotted fish ("budeg" as they call it)) thought it stunk the whole house up. We quintuple bagged the cookies and they still stunk the whole house up.

The wikipedia article also stated that different species of durian (there are many) have different unique odors. Maybe we get the most funky variety in our asian stores here in NC. Or maybe they have been sitting on a boat from Thailand for six weeks before we buy them here!
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:28 PM   #26
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No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain and Durian Blog Archive Dragon Head Almost Destroyed Me

Click on the photo of tony bourdain to get a funny video regarding durian fruit...
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:37 PM   #27
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Click on the photo of tony bourdain to get a funny video regarding durian fruit...
My first introduction to durian was Anthony Bourdain in SE Asia trying to taste it and talking about how hotels would disallow it because the smell permeates everything and it can smell like sewer gases are leaking into the hotel.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:02 PM   #28
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Great show...both his original Cooks Tour and No Reservations.

For those who have missed it, Tony travels the world, eating both interesting and disgusting food products while offering a touristy perspective of the local culture.

Best of all was the iguana tamales in mexico. Seems they were burned on a grill, cut up...but still with some of the bone and burned skin on the meat, then made into tamales and cooked until almost done.

On tasting it...
“Unbelievably horrible. I just want to die.. I mean really bad. I want to dip my head into a bucket of lye, you know, pull my eyes out of their sockets and jump off a cliff.”
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:19 PM   #29
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Oh....iguana tamales.....when folks wanted to have you for a special meal in the little village where we lived in in Mexico, they always had iguana tamales....just thinking about them makes me homesick. Another favorite way for iguana was to roast it on a spit until it swelled up like a football with really crisp skin.

Another thing from the village where we lived.....we had an invasion of grasshoppers. Early in the morning, everybody in the village could be seen with a brown paper bag gathering up grasshoppers when the early morning dampness made them a little slower and they could catch them easier.

They kept them in the paper bag, closed up, for 24 hours, until they had excreted everything they had eaten, then they fried up a big bunch of garlic and sauteed the grasshoppers until crispy and garlicky. At first, we said...EWWWW......then we tried a few.....and the next morning at 7 a.m. we were out with our own paper bags.......those grasshoppers were GOOD, and an excellent source of protein.....

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Old 06-25-2007, 01:25 PM   #30
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Just as long as you dont go putting any mayo on them...

Funny, we used to do the same thing with steamer clams in new england...put them in salt water with some cornmeal to eat. They'd 'lose' all the sand, nasty stuff and whatnot and eat a bunch of the cornmeal, making them plump and sweet.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:27 PM   #31
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Mmmm... chapulines. Those fried grasshoppers are pretty tasty. Most flavorful bug I've ever eaten in Mexico.

Edit: Just found this picture: Image:Chapulines.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I may have eaten the grasshoppers served at this exact same stand in the market in Tepoztlan!
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:54 PM   #32
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:59 PM   #33
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Mmmm... chapulines. Those fried grasshoppers are pretty tasty. Most flavorful bug I've ever eaten in Mexico.

Edit: Just found this picture: Image:Chapulines.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia I may have eaten the grasshoppers served at this exact same stand in the market in Tepoztlan!
I've been to Mexico several times but never get a chance to try these. Sounds like a seasonal thing.

Anyway, the equivalence in SE Asia would be crickets stuffed with peanut. Cicadas too. All delicious.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:00 PM   #34
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Mmmmm - I had a turtle burger in Grand Cayman once. It was pretty good.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:24 PM   #35
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I've been to Mexico several times but never get a chance to try these. Sounds like a seasonal thing.

Anyway, the equivalence in SE Asia would be crickets stuffed with peanut. Cicadas too. All delicious.
I think the grasshoppers are a regional thing, maybe even specific to certain towns/villages. The indigenous folks are the main consumers apparently. The only place I recall seeing them was Tepoztlan in Morelos State (outside of Cuernavaca) and in a Mexico City open-air market (la Merced or something?). The flavor is like shell-on shrimp, with a little extra crunch.

My wife was a kid she used to eat termites and grasshoppers all the time. Toss em in the frying pan and it was good eats. They would go out in the hills and catch a bunch of them, then bring them back and cook em. Of course that was back when they were starving refugees and had little else to eat besides a small serving of rice. They are definitely a good source of protein!
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:30 PM   #36
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Of course that was back when they were starving refugees...
Refugees? I didn't know there are/were Thai refugees.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:33 PM   #37
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tang, ovaltine and sunny delight
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:00 PM   #38
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.

What weird things do we eat here in the US? Besides Spam...

Potted meat. Look at the ingredients sometime and tell me who eats this stuff. (It's in the supermarket near the "Vienna Sausages" --I think the Austrians are going to sue someone for attributing that "food' to their nation).
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:14 PM   #39
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And squid jerky.
I love that. Goes especially well with beer or sake.

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How about any of the assortment of shrimp flavored crackers and cookies (those are actually pretty tasty!)?
Yes, pretty addictive.

By the way, Ladelfina, corn dogs are regular fixtures at convenience stores in Japan.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:24 PM   #40
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.

What weird things do we eat here in the US? Besides Spam...

Potted meat. Look at the ingredients sometime and tell me who eats this stuff. (It's in the supermarket near the "Vienna Sausages" -- and speaking of those: I think the Austrians are going to sue someone for attributing that "food' to their nation).
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