Wednesday, June 25, 2008

savoring durian in tokyo

This is gonna crack my Papa up - I actually ate durian!

For years, my Papa has been trying to bribe me to eat durian. Otherwise known as the King of Fruits, it's one tropical fruit that I never got to eating. My furthest memory of actually putting it in my mouth must have been more than 20 years ago. It's a very faint image of Papa opening the fruit in our little home in Sabak Bernam, Selangor and me eating together with the rest of the family.

But after that, I have totally no recollection of actually eating it. Until today, I can't quite say why I don't eat durian. So I was put on the spot when Watanabe-san's friend asked if I could host a durian party. Since I don't eat durians, much less know how to choose a good one and open it, I called Dino, a Malaysian Bidayuh friend to help me out.

I wanted to share the durian with them last weekend when Danny & I co-hosted a lunch party of Malay and Chinese dishes. But the shopkeeper at the Asia Super Store said it was not ripe yet, we had to wait for about 2 more days. So I made tapioca in coconut milk for dessert instead, and invited them over 2 days later for the much-awaited durian.

Sasaki-san was so excited that he brought his camera and wanted to capture the opening of the thorny fruit. Alas, his camera malfunctioned at the wrong time, so I offered to take some for him on mine instead.

Surprisingly, this durian didn't emit such a pungent smell, if not the whole neighbourhood would be complaining about us. Sasaki-san was clearly enjoying his durian, eating with his hand and commenting that it tasted like a combination of banana, pineapple and peach! Wow, that's quite an interesting description of what people would usually call the fruit that "stinks like hell, tastes like heaven".

Even Watanabe-san who wasn't so eager about it in the beginning was quietly enjoying the fruit, using a spoon to scoop the flesh off the seed. This was the first time for them to eat the fruit. Danny joined us, having had the fruit before in Shanghai, while my Spanish housemate's friend was "suffering" trying to finish half the fruit - his face was red and he begged me to help him finish his!

Since I was the host, I had no choice but to join them in eating the fruit. And also to show Papa that I finally ate durian. In Japan. The irony! It ain't so bad after all, and with this, I can say that I am Malaysian :D

P/s: By the way, this durian weighing 2.7kg cost about Y4000. For this price, the flesh should be made of gold instead.

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