I went out to lunch with two friends, Monte and Shannyn, today at an asian restaurant. This place is so damn good... I got a green curry, with jasmine rice, so very good.
The had a bunch of shakes on the drink menu, including durian. Neither had heard of it before, so I explained a little... it's large and spiny, and has a sort of... controversial taste and smell.
I've still never had fresh durian, but I had had it in icecream once. The first bite was very odd tasting. The second, more fruity. There was definitely a musky note; not unpleasant, but definitely not expected, either.
People either love it or hate it. It's just one of those things.
We hit Hoa Lan, one of my favorite Asian markets, afterwards. I bought sesame oil, some wasabe peas, basmati rice, fresh tofu, agar, other stuff. We checked out produce, and found a few fresh durian there. And, in the little icecream case, there were a bunch of different asian popcicles, including mung bean, red bean, jack fruit... and, durian.
Thinking that it'd be much like the icecream I tried, I talked Monte into buying a durian popcicle.
He was a little hesitant at first, saying that maybe today wasn't the day. I asked why, and he said, "Well, you said... it's just one of those things."
Always one to push for an andventure, I asked him why trying it today would be different from any other day.
Ceding to that logic, Monte went ahead and bought the durian popcicle.
Man, Monte... I am so sorry.
We got into the car, and he took an experimental lick. He screwed his face up, then gamely tried another.
Thinking that Monte just didn't like it, I asked for a taste. Foregoing the quick lick, I took a good-sized bite.
There are no words to describe the horror of that taste. I have never put something so foul in my mouth in my life. And I'm a girl with a pretty checkered past.
I couldn't eat it. I had to spit it out the window. Compelled to engage in the "try this, this is gross!" phenomenon of human behavior, Shannyn took a lick.
"Why would someone eat this?" she said. "It's this big thing, it's covered with spines... that shit is definitely telling you keep out."
"These must be the popcicles parents give to kids when they've been bad," Monte said.
Safe in the knowledge that we'd all found it inedible, I told Monte that I'd read that some people consider it similar to the taste of a woman's nether regions.
When we were able to stop laughing, Shannyn said, "if you taste like that, there's something seriously wrong with your health."
What does it really taste like? The closest any of us could come was that they taste like dirty diapers smell.
I may still someday eat durian. I mean, there's got to be something to it, if it inspires adoration like this.
But, no more popcicles for me.