Sunday, September 16, 2007


The durian has a similar love-hate relationship that Marmite has for its followers. Personally, I'm not a great fan although I will eat a few durian products like ice-cream and the puff. I quite like durian puffs which are like cream puffs with a whipped durian and cream filling.

Durian was on my sister's to-do (to-eat) list when she visited.

After our fabulous dinner at No Signboard restaurant, my sister and my dining friends Kin and Kenny went to Geylang to the durian stalls. I'd like to emphasise at this point that I had not eaten durian in about 10 years. I'd completely forgotten about the various cultivars; the sweet variety, the bitter one; D10, D4, etc. We selected our durians of choice after a quick discussion: sweet ones, not too bitter.

The restrictions on durian transportation (not allowed on public transport, frowned upon in taxis) mean that this delicacy is usually eaten on the roadside on makeshift plastic stools - no one really wants to stink up their car either. There's something appropriate about Geyland, Singapore's red-light district; the seedy side of things - bootleg cigarette peddlers, prostitutes and pimps openly going about their business; and the stinky waft of the aroma, that goes well with durian. The vendors kindly open the fruit for you with their thick padded gloves but extraction to reveal further seeds inside is a DIY affair. Immaculately dressed Kenny had no qualms about pressing the segments open with his bare hands looking for new fruit.

I must say that my first durian in 10 years wasn't all that bad. I think I've been de-sensitised to the smell since moving here. I'm not a convert, far from it, I could only manage three seeds or so. But everyone else enjoyed themselves. Here's a picture of my sister eating - she's wondering why this photo is public. It's because I wanted to post it on my blog!

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