The King of Fruit

A few weeks ago, I bought a bag of candy to satisfy a sugar craving. As soon as I tore the bright yellow package open, an inconceivably foul and acrid odor escaped the torn plastic, permeating every square inch of fresh air that a human needs to survive. It literally suffocated me.

The candy was made out of durian, fittingly dubbed “the stinkiest fruit in the world.” If you ask five different people what durian tastes like, you will get five different answers. It’s been described as “road kill wrapped in dirty socks,” “completely rotten, mushy onions,” and “monkey crap laced with rancid butter.” It’s even been describes as “heaven on earth,” and “like a sweet, nutty custard with tones of vanilla.” In his description of durian, Anthony Bourdain once said, “Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”



Durians are about the size of footballs. The yellow, soft, buttery fruit center is protected by a thorn covered rind. The fruit’s odor is so strong and offensive that it is banned from hotels and public transportation in many parts of Southeast Asia. “No Duran” signs forbidding the consumption of durian in public places is just as common as “No Smoking” signs in the U.S.


Chris is a little more adventurous with food. Much to his dismay, he hasn’t had an opportunity to try fresh durian yet. Another time, another place. However, while we were in Singapore, he had a slice of durian cake and a scoop of durian ice cream. If you ask Chris what durian tastes like, he will say, “It tastes like mango and anesthesia; the happiest, most disgusting flavor that I’ve ever had.”

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3 Responses to The King of Fruit

  1. Kaye Rose says:

    Kriste, I think you should be a writer, your blogs are so interesting and entertaining, I can just see Chris having to experience all the new flavors, altho after the tryout with the civet coffee! I would think he might be a little more wary! Did you read that PETA is on their case for keeping the poor critters smushed in such small cages. Kriste, thanks so much for the beautiful pictures, too. I can,t imagine! Love you all lots, and Stella sends her best wishes too.

    • Kriste Rose says:

      Yes, we did read the PETA article – it was reason #2 for Chris to throw the coffee away! I’m glad you are enjoying our blog! Give Stella lots of hugs for us! Don’t worry about her spending too much time in her room. She was like that at home, too; she only came out to socialize when she was in the mood to.

  2. Pingback: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam | 7693 Miles from Home

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