I just watched another show on the Travel and Living Channel about food in KL. On these types of shows the host will usually wander around the city trying out the different types of cuisine we have: Malay, Indian and Chinese. They always compliment the varied flavors and the international selection of street food in KL.
And then they try the durian.
For those of you that don’t know, durian is one of the most popular fruits in southeast Asia. Many Malaysians claim that durian is the “official fruit” of Malaysia. The thing about durian is that, according to various reports, it smells like feet and has the consistancy of custard. It’s been two years and I still haven’t worked up the courage to try it.
And now I’ve watched yet another show where the so-called “adventurous eater” host actually spits back out the durian. First Andrew Zimmern and now Bobby Chinn. They take a taste, always in front of another Malaysian who is enthusiastically enjoying his piece of durian, they get a strange, horrified look on their face, and then they spit it back out again. Now what about that visual is going to encourage me, a not-quite-so-adventurous eater to try durian?
I mean, here’s the synopsis of the first show I saw:
Bizarre Foods: Asia
Viewers join adventurous chef Andrew Zimmern as he travels through Asia, seeking out and eating some of region’s most bizarre foods. In this part of the world, the freshest foods are mostly alive and almost everything is considered edible. From the getemono bars of Tokyo, where beating frogs’ hearts, poisonous fungi and lizard sake are consumed for sport, to the hills of Chiang Mai, Thailand, where native tribesmen capture and feast on stir-fried bat, to the island of Penang, Malaysia, home of the world’s most repulsive fruit, Andrew tastes it all. (Airs 27 February at 1800)
Durian is lumped in with eating beating frogs’ hearts and stir-fried bat. That can’t be good…
In Singapore, apparantly, durian is not allowed in public spaces, like the subway, hotels or malls. I’ve even seen “no durian” signs in public places here in KL. When it’s up there with “no flammable liquid or gas” that’s really saying something…
During durian season, there’s always a little man selling fresh durian in the grocery store: “Duuurrian, duurrian, durian” he hollers. They always specifically ask us if we want to try the pre-cut little chunks. Yeah, I think I’ll pass…