Friday, October 3, 2008

Japanese Fear Factor - Durian

These are durians, otherwise known as the King of Fruits.
durian_malaysia
If you visit Malaysia without tasting the local fruit, especially durians, you must have missed out on something really big. Hence, I asked the Japanese whether they would like to try some durians since they have come all the way to Malaysia, and it is relatively hard to find durians in Japan. Even if they do, durians are usually sold at bloodsucking high price. One durian could fetch up to almost 3,000 yen (RM 100). You think I am kidding you?
Here is the prove.
Shashin115
Picture taken from this site.
I am very well-aware that Japanese generally do not like durians, because of the distinctive odour, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Regarded by some as fragrant, others as overpowering and offensive, the smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, especially the Westerners and some Asians like Japanese. However, since they said they would like to try it, I took them to a stall near Sri Rampai after our visit to Royal Selangor Pewter's factory nearby.
It was already September and the durian season was over a few weeks earlier, but they were lucky to see the corner-lot stall still selling some durians there. My Japanese lecturer told me to get only one durian, because he knew the rest would not be able to consume much durian. I asked one of the worker to pick just one of the fruit hanging from the long wooden pole. All rushed around him when he used a parang to open the fruit to see how it was done. Cameras were flashing everywhere and the guy and his owner gave me a little smile, which I acknowledged. When it was served on the table, fifteen pairs of eyes turned to me, and I was thinking what on earth have I did wrongly. Apparently, they were signalling me to show them how to eat the durian.
Haha, see lah! Always think we Malaysians are jakun, now want to eat durians also must let people teach.
I immediately grabbed one piece of the flesh and put it into my mouth, savouring every moment of it while showing the do-it-like-me-if-you-can facial expression. The Japanese were amazed by what I did. They tried doing it, but just when they were about to make any contact with the flesh, they pulled their hands away. They were too afraid that their hands will smell durian subsequently. In the end, they used tissue to slowly peel the flesh from the husk and taste the durian. Tissue you may wonder but yes, they used tissue to avoid the smell sticking on their fingers. Here are some pictures to justify my statement.
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Look at the guy on the left. As if he just ate a rotten iguana.
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The guy in grey on the right is my classmate, and he was the first person to raised his hand when we asked if anyone would want to try some durians.
I suppose he must have regretted his decision when he tasted the durian afterwards.
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The head librarian in orange must be the best among the Japanese, as she ate quite a lot of durians. Four, I think.

What I found out from bringing them to try the durians are that they prefer mangkak ones, compared to the rich, creamy and yellow flesh type of durian. I think that is because mangkak ones have already lost most of the smell and moisture of the flesh. Isn't that weird?
The biggest durian was not that good already, and I complained to the man. He replaced it with one smaller durian free-of-charge. In the end, there were three durians in total. Fifteen Japanese finished not more than half of one fruit of durian, while I was asked to finish the rest. It was a lot, so I tapao back some to share it with my friend in Kajang. While holding the packets of durians, the Japanese made sure they keep a distance from me, not because I have a bad BO, but because they could not stand the durian smell. The taxi guy on our way back was nice enough to allow me to bring durians into the taxi, even though it could make his car smell durian later on.
My initial plan to make the Japanese have durians as their lunch turned out to be a total failure.

18 comments:

specialhuman said...

Lol. I can't understand why people hate durian.

Has been eating durian since God knows 3 or 4 year old~ XD

specialhuman said...

and the Japanese. If u don tell, they look just like local chinese.

The grey shirt guy look like one of the guys in my uni. The guy with darker grey shirt too. XD

Jasmine Teh said...

heh..same same. Brought some durian sweets back for japanese friends..Was thinking that'll be better for them compare to real durian...And one of them said,"I tried my best to finish it..but gave up half way...heh..

Endoru said...

Haha, it reminds me of my 2 Japanese friends when I brought them home. Just one lick, they throw it away. Like you said, like eating "rotten iguana". Don't know exactly how rotten iguana really taste but yeah. :) Anyway, I don't really like durian myself. Yeah, imported mangosteens and rambutans which are almost rotten also very expensive here in Japan. Like eating gold only.

K3ViN said...

wah all give up? ohh my.. worst then my Japanese worker that i know b4..... my colleague have to buy durian when they plan wanna go 2 japan 4 visit. But mostly all Japanese hate durian...

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
they don't hate durians, but they just love the durians so much that they cannot imagine eating something they love xD

yea, sometimes it is hard to differentiate between the chinese and the japanese. i think i have told you about one of my encounter at isetan recently ;)

calvin said...

@ jasmine teh:
at least the smell is not that strong anymore when you have them in the form of sweets, but well, lets just say durians are not the japanese's best friend >.<

calvin said...

@ endoru:
i have never seen any mangosteens and rambutans here so far. maybe my place is quite a rural area, but still, like you said, they will not be as fresh as what you get back home.

the bananas here in japan are not that nice either >.<

calvin said...

@ k3vin:
we have malaysians who dislike durians too ;)

K3ViN said...

i totally agree with u... my sister is on of them who hate durian lor..... she dont mind with the smell but she dont wan to eat it..... we been force her 2 eat b4... but all fail lor :P

calvin said...

@ k3vin:
i have one friend whose family owns a durian orchard, but he dislike durians too. why should you force your sister when you get to eat more durians? xD

elaine said...

hahahahah..
it was damn funny~

elaine said...

hahahahah..
it was damn funny~

calvin said...

@ elaine:
yes, funny for us, but suffering for the japanese =P
anyway, was it so funny that you commented twice? xD

Titus said...

HOW COME ITS TAPAO i tot tapau?

calvin said...

@ titus:
both refer to the same thing ;)

cybersurfer said...

smells like hell but tastes like heaven....
haha, perfect words to describe durian
it was king of fruit

calvin said...

@ cybersurfer:
got to agree with you on that :)