“One of the worst things you’ve ever smelled, but one of the best things you’ll ever taste.” This is how durian is described in Thailand, and I must say that it lives up to the statement. Looking more like a medieval mace than something edible, this tropical fruit is a true delicacy – but the fowl odor it emits when cracked open has lead to durian being banned by law in many public places around the world.
Also known as the “King of Fruit,” durian can be eaten raw, blended into smoothies, or baked into pastries. While difficult to find in many Central American locales, sustainable farms in Costa Rica – particularly on the southern Caribbean coast – have been offering this scrumptious treat for years.
Leave it to the hands of a seasoned professional to crack a durian, as the hundreds of spikes covering its shell are quite sharp. Once open, you’ll find fleshy white fruit wrapped around large seeds, each in its own individual section of the shell. Durian’s texture, and the prospect of putting it in your mouth, can seem a bit daunting at first. But the instant it hits your taste buds you’ll know it’s worth the work.
For those finding themselves lucky enough to try a durian, I would definitely recommend tasting it uncooked. Or, for a delicious twist, give the recipe below a shot. Just be sure to get past the smell…
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 1 durian.
- 6 oz sutter (3/4 cup).
- 5 oz sugar (2/3 cup).
- 4 eggs; separated.
- 6 oz flour (3/4 cup).
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Remove flesh from the durian and discard seeds.
- Puree flesh in a food processor.
- Beat butter and sugar together until smooth, then beat in the egg yolks.
- Sift flour and beat into butter mixture. Beat in the durian pulp.
- Whip egg whites into stiff peaks and fold them into the mixture.
- Bake cake in a greased, 8" cake pan for 1 hour, or until cake is done when tested with a toothpick.