Indonesian street food: Durien


Indonesia is not the only SE Asian country where the durien is the most highly prized fruit, but Indonesians are definitely obsessed with it.

Even before you cut it open, its spiky leathery exterior gives a hint that this is not a fruit to be messed with.  Some describe the smell as being like a sewer, I would say more like a fart. It is so foul that it is banned in many public places in Singapore and some hotels have signs warning guests not to bring duriens in.

If you can overcome your initial disgust at the smell, you’ll find the taste is not so bad.  I found the trick is not to breathe in while you’re eating.  Even so, I still prefer mango.

I believe the true reason that Indonesians love durien is that the ripe fruit is slightly fermented, giving it a very slight alcoholic content.  As fruit is not considered a drink, there is no taboo against getting ‘drunk’ on durien.  Indonesians can get drunk on durien as they seldom touch hard drink.

A popular late night outing is the ‘durien party’ where you and a bunch of friends go to a street such as Kalibata where you choose a durien seller and gorge yourselves on as much durien as you can eat, washed down with water.  If you’re lucky, you will feel a slight warmth, but your Indonesian friends will be rotten drunk.

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2 Responses to “Indonesian street food: Durien”

  1. kseverny Says:

    now thats interesting

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