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Unusual Food Assignment
Durian, King of Fruits
The durian is commonly known as the "King of the Fruits", a name that can be known for its dreadful look and overpowering odor. The fruit is oblong to round (football shaped) and can grow to weigh up to 18 pounds. The rind is yellowish or yellowish-green, dense and thick, and has sharply pointed spines that must be handled carefully or results will be painful. The fruit is notorious for its odor, which is usually described in unappealing terms. What most people regard as a hideous aroma is only one of the durian's defenses against human predators. It is subject to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The taste of the durian is unique. Inside the fruit are five sections that have a creamy flesh that can be whitish, yellowish, pinkish or orange colored. The flesh of the durian resembles custard. Just as the odor has a variety of terms of description, so does the taste have a variety of terms to describe it. Among those are “custard, almonds, and a hint of garlic,” “banana, papaya, vanilla, and rotting onions,” and there are many more comparisons to other food combinations. Chef Andrew Zimmern compares the taste to "completely rotten, mushy onions.” Yet, to those that appreciate it, the taste is an incredible experience. Some people say it just smells like a mixture of sewage, stale vomit, rotten onions, and moldy cheese. The durian is usually sold as a whole fruit or sometimes cut open and divided into sections. The flesh is best after it is well chilled. It can be boiled with sugar or cooked in coconut water. It is also a popular flavoring for ice cream, a sauce for rice, relish, ices and side dishes. At the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok they serve the Durian Sundae, featuring durian ice cream, sweet brown sticky rice, rice crispies, coconut sauce and crushed peanuts for the more adventurous to try. At the Regal HongKong Hotel souffle is specially highlighted with an array of creative flavors...
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