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The "Lucky Durian"

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1. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Since Mr. I and I don't travel as often as we would like, nor do we get to try new foods often, Hien was kind enough to tell us about the "durian" - a fruit grown in Malaysia and Thailand. He sent us photos along with instructions on how to open and eat it. Recently, I found the "durian" at a Chinese market in Chicago and bought it. Sadly, ours was overly ripe and had started to ferment. But being adventurous, we tried it anyway and I'm willng to try it again sometime. For a view of the "Lucky Durian" experiment - please check our photo gallery under USA.

This got me to thinking... (Yeah, I know - bad idea.)

1) What types of food from other countries have you tried because some one has told you about them?

2) What is the oddest food you have eaten during your travels?

3) Any other food you would like to see the Isa's try? (We'll try to find it if we can.)

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Ah, Durian fruit. I tried it in Africa. Smelly buggers. And it's not just when you are eating them either. The NEXT DAY I was taking a pee and I could smell the awful smell still! I actually tried the Durian Fruit because I had seen it mentioned on an episode of Tony Bourdain's show A Cook's Tour.

As for other foods that I have tried, based upon other traveller's or locals recommendations, that are a little weird:

  • Alligator (Florida, USA)
  • Rattle snake (Colorado, USA)
  • Guanaco (Chilean Llama, basically) (Punta Arenas, Chile) - these actually used to be on the endangered species list, but have come back, and you can eat the farm raised ones (though still illegal to hunt and kill wild Guanaco).

I would like to try raw seal meat (an inuit staple) and some bugs (grasshoppers or ants or something).

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Quoting GregW

I would like to try raw seal meat (an inuit staple) and some bugs (grasshoppers or ants or something).

I've eaten bugs - although purely by accident, as my mouth just happened to be open when they were flying my way.

  • I think I tried alligator here - at a food fair. I can't remember the taste or texture. Some impression!
  • Tried a tiny, tiny piece of sausage from an Ulster fry. Blech. Who's the guy who first thought "blood and oatmeal - how refreshing!"??
  • I'd recommend a full-fledged Cabane-a-Sucre meal: pea soup, omlette, bacon, des oreilles de crisse (bacon fat the texture of cement), baked beans, sausages, pickles, home-made relish, beets, potatoes, fries, bread and butter, creton (spreadable pork fat), ham, meat pie, sugar pie, dumplings, doughnuts, pete de soeur (literally nun's farts - rolled pastry with cinnamon), coffe, tea, milk, juice, water - and all the maple syrup you can eat. Oh! Followed by tire sur neige - melted maple toffee on snow. Just try not to undo your belt after all that!
4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Haggis....ugh.....

Although,youre right tway, black pudding isnt far off!

Escargots...very nice...

A tiny bite of a horse burger....and felt instantly ashamed...I love horses....

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

I will pass on the peas, baked beans and beets (YUCK!), but Mr. I can have mine - he likes those. Have had creton - it's similar to dunking bread in bacon grease. (Which I love but don't do anymore.)

I've had:
fly-by bug experience
ostrich sausage
alligator meat
buffalo steak

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Oh, and blood sausage - that was awful!

7. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

I've tasted durian in Indonesia. It's delicious. Many hotels etc in various parts of SE Asia have signs up saying "No durian allowed" OR at least a picture of a durian with an "X" over it. Just like a no smoking sign. There's a very pungent smell with durian, that's hard to get rid of.

In China, I've tried cicadas on the recommendation opf some colleagues. They were okay but a bit too small. Could mainly taste the shells which I kept spitting out. They also got stuck between my teeth.

In The Philippines, I was coaxed into tasting the warm fluid from inside an "over"ripe duck egg.It was very salty. I couldn't however bring myself to eating the duckling foetus inside.

What I'm still waiting to taste is the Chinese delicacy of dog. Most people I meet, initially deny that they've ever eaten it. Possibly just being cautious and defensive in their response. After talking for a while, many admit to having tasted it and enjoying it. Apparently, a special sort of dog is bred for eating. I believe it's quite an expensive menu dish.

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting Wocca

I've tasted durian in Indonesia. It's delicious. Many hotels etc in various parts of SE Asia have signs up saying "No durian allowed" OR at least a picture of a durian with an "X" over it. Just like a no smoking sign. There's a very pungent smell with durian, that's hard to get rid of.

I am going to order one of the durian signs with the X through it for my kitchen. We opened it last night and I can still smell it, even with all the windows open. We deposited the remains in the outside trash can last night. This morning was pick-up day and I'm sure the "sanitary engineer" emptying ours wasn't happy with us. My trash can smells of durian too.

9. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

I heard Durians were a wonder for weight loss....Is it true, or just another old wives tale?

10. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

I haven't found that anywhere but they may well be. If nothing else, the odor that emminates after opening could put you right off food. We'll have to ask Hien! He's the durian expert!!