Possessed with a cast iron stomach and an inimitable willingness to eat anything, not much fazes Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods.” Yet I distinctly remember the episode where one food practically brought him to his knees; it was durian, a fruit he described as tasting like “completely rotten, mushy onions.”
If the taste of durian is unpleasant, the smell is supposed to be even worse. In fact, durian is banned in some public areas of Malaysia and Singapore due to its offensive odor.
The Korean supermarket near my parents’ house in Lexington, MA sells durian. Naturally, I wanted to try it. Actually, I wanted my family to try it while I filmed their reaction. We took the spiky durian out to the ping pong table (far removed from the main part of the house), my mom put on rubber gloves, a cleaver was unleashed, and I shot this quick video with my parents, sister, brother-in-law and nieces.
Either we chose a mild durian, or the durian legend is overblown. Not only did the thing taste okay, it smelled okay, too. See for yourself.