My First Durian!
I finally got brave enough to try the "King of Fruits", the mysterious Durian. I have been looking at them in the Asian market where I shop for about 2 years now! I had never heard of this unusual fruit until becoming a raw foodie. Some of the things I heard about them were amusing, but the most talked about feature was its scent! I read about them being banned from hotels and mass transit. I read about the taste being something you either love or don't love. Some raw foodies I see online love it so much, they use durian as part of their screen name.
Click here for nutrition facts for durian
I was not sure how to pick one, but the eight or so the store had all looked about the same. They were in the refrigerated case each wrapped up in green netting with a handle. I suspect they were at one time frozen for shipping, and thawed.
I picked one up, and held it close enough to see if the infamous scent would be a turn-off, and I would not buy it. I inhaled its aroma...sweet...unique...not overpowering or unpleasant! I tossed it in my basket, along with a dragon fruit, a couple of young coconuts, some mint, basil, and a huge jicama. My total cost was about eighteen dollars, with the durian ringing up at $4.43...not too bad!
Once home, I placed it in the fridge, since that is were it was in the store. It stayed there for a couple of days, and then it was time!
Time to see what all the fuss was about.
Since I don't have high speed internet, I am unable to view all the videos out there about opening this prehistoric looking fruit. I got out the cutting board, and a heavy knife and looked at my durian. First I carefully removed the netting. It reminded me of my favorite giant souvenir pine-cone from a trip to Palm Springs a while back. Maybe they were distant cousins?
Next, I saw there were about 5 lobes to the fruit. Near the top where the stem was, I inserted my knife into a seam, and was surprised how easily it went in. The pod opened up to reveal a creamy pale flesh.
The scent of it was stronger now, but not what I thought it would be like. It was very sweet smelling. I tried really hard to distinguish just what it smelled like, but it is so unusual, I could not compare it to anything I ever had. The fruit practically fell out, it didn't seem connected to the spiky shell, only protected by it:) The mass broke into 3 sections, each one containing a large brown seed.
I saved the seeds, as I was not sure if they were edible too. I was actually able to split the rest of it open with my hands, and pull out the soft custard-like meat. I got a little more than 3 cups total from my durian.
I was still a little hesitant to taste it. Although the scent was not really offensive to me, I was not sure I wanted to eat it..lol! I had looked up a few recipes that used durian, just in case:)
Well, I have to say, I did like the durian! It was not 'love' at first bite, but it was 'like' at first bite! I ate about 1 cup of it, just as it was. It was soft, creamy, sweet, custard-like, all the things I read about it. I was so happy that I liked the king of fruits:)
With the remaining two cups, I made one of the most wonderful ice creams I ever tasted, a rich chocolate durian ice cream. It is silky, smooth, and fudgey, with an awesome creamy texture.
I also enjoyed a cup of it as a mousse... oh so good!
The recipe is courtesy of Dr. Frank Ferendo, author of the books Reasonably Raw, Holistic Perspectives and Integral Theory, and Spanish Lessons: A Midlife Adventure in Search of Meaning.
Please visit his interesting blog for more info about these books, and to read about his wonderful approach to eating raw!
Here is a video of Frank making the ice cream, although I can't view it, I am sure you most likely have high speed internet:)
Lucky for me it was also written out in another post, which I have permission to share with you here. I copied and pasted from the blog.
Sincere thanks to Dr. Frank Ferendo for his amazing recipe, and for letting me share it on my blog:)
Here is the recipe:
2 cups durian
2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1 cup water
1 cup raw agave (or other sweetener)
1/4 cup coconut butter
2 TBS vanilla extract
2 TBS dulse
4 TBS raw cacao powder
1 vanilla bean
Put in blender, chill, and then put in ice cream maker. Or, you can skip the ice cream part and eat it like a chocolate mousse. (Note: Even with a Vita Mixer you may have to blend half at a time.) To make even more yummy add cacao nibs and/or walnut pieces.
I used a bit less agave, as I found my durian very sweet. I used only the vanilla bean, and also added some soft chocolate chunks. If you like a harder chocolate chunk, use my chocolate chip recipe.
Soft Chocolate Chunks
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons agave
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
1. Melt oil by placing in a small bowl over very hot water.
2. Cool slightly and add agave and cocoa powder.
3. Allow to cool until like thick hot fudge or frosting, but still able to stir.
4. Spread in shallow pan.
5. Chill until firm.
6. Chop into chunks
7. Keep in fridge or mix into ice cream.