Sunday, January 04, 2009

Durian 2.0

With sad looks on our faces, we left Taiwan today. We had complicated our whole trip by traveling by way of Shenzhen/Hong Kong (because Marilyn was already in Shenzhen for work, and tickets from Hong Kong to Taipei were half the cost of Beijing to Taipei), so we're back in Hong Kong for a night before we head back to Beijing tomorrow.

The night before we left for Taiwan, M and I had decided to check out this dessert place across the street from my uncle and aunt's flat. My aunt had pointed it out and told us it was pretty famous, so we couldn't resist. We got there around midnight and the place was packed, half of the seating area jammed in under these giant tents in front of the building. This place is famous for its durian and mango desserts, but the first time around we chickened out and just had a crispy mango roll and a mango pudding with cream and pomelo. We flipped out. The mango was some of the best mango we'd ever had and the flavors and textures came together really nicely. forward to tonight. M and I make it to HK in time for dinner with my uncle and aunt, and then we head across the street to the dessert place. This time we got a crispy banana roll (which we'd tried to get the first time, but they ran out) and mango with black glutinous rice and cream. The place wasn't that busy tonight, so they brought the dessert out really quickly. As M and I were enjoying the sweet, creamy, and lightly tangy taste of the mango, I got to thinking. If the mango here is so good, maybe the durian is delicious too. Maybe I've just never given it a chance. At first, M was unsure about it, but I convinced her to order another dessert: durian and whipped cream wrapped in something like a crepe or swedish pancake.

The two little puffy guys appeared and M and I stared at them, hesitating. M made the first move and cut open the roll with her fork...that old familiar durian smell wafted into our nostrils. Summoning our courage, we each speared a big bite of durian roll and popped it into our mouth. My tastebuds reeled as I supressed a gag. My brain registered scrambled eggs with green onion and leftover minced pork, but my mouth registered some kind of fruit, cream, and crepe. Maybe the second bite will be better, we wondered out loud simultaneously. Nope. Grimacing, we ever so slowly finished one of the puffs. Relieved, I went back to finishing our banana roll and mango with black glutinous rice, but M wasn't done. The other puffy roll just sat there, watching her. Feeling bad, she cut him open and decided to taste just the cream. Still gross. Then she took a full bite and realized that the other puff wasn't actually so nasty. Oh the pain, if only we'd eaten the half-bad one instead of the totally gross one.

So here I sit, periodically burping, filling the room with the lingering odors of premium grade durian. If any of you were wondering, like me, if fresh high quality durian is sweeter and less funky, wonder no more. If tonight's dessert was any proof, premium grade durian isn't sweeter, it's funkier.

My apologies to those of you readers and friends who love durian, but I've tried a few times and I just can't do it. It is a foul abomination of a fruit.

1 comment:

Katrina said...