Durian – The King of Fruits

Here is an extract from Steve’s story from our book ‘A Taste of Bali – stories and poems’ called ‘Durian – The King of Fruits’ (note: my poems can be found under the heading of ‘My Poems’).

Driving past Goa Gajah, I detected the fragrance.
“Dede, stop at the durian stand around the next bend. Let’s buy durians for all the builders.”
We were on our way to see how the spa renovations were progressing and I thought that durians would be a nice treat. I’d also decided to give it a try at last. Dede was meticulous in his selection of our ten durians. They were sniffed, compared, selected or rejected and even after being chosen, returned to the pile if a better one was discovered. As always, Dede haggled hard, but paid a fair price, and we loaded our purchases into the car. The smell was overpowering and we drove with the windows down and the fan on full blast.

We were greeted like conquering heroes at the building site and everyone put down their tools to carry the bounty from the car. New born babies could not have been handled more carefully. No one rushed to peel open the durians, but instead, sat around staring, anticipating, and salivating. Dede was the first to crack open a fruit and lovingly pulled part of the yellow slug from the cavity and placed it in his mouth. We all watched, holding our breath, awaiting the verdict of the connoisseur.
“Perfect,” he declared, “Don’t wait, enjoy them.”
They broke open another few durians and began sampling from each to decide which was the tastiest. I decided it was now or never and, with Dede’s help, selected a piece to try. Slipping it into my mouth, I began to savour the flavour. I wanted it to be sublime but it tasted like a rather old and slightly off custard. Dede suggested I try a piece from another one, and I did, but my opinion remained unchanged.

As I said, my romance with the durian fruit has never really taken off, but at least I have tried it. None of my Indonesian friends are disappointed, as I still buy them as treats from time to time and it is all the more for them. My joy comes from watching their rapt expressions as they devour every morsel and listening to their comments of high praise. They always remind me that it is the ‘King of Fruits’, even if I choose not to be one of its devotees.

Intrigued about this fruit which is referred to as ‘the heaven and hell fruit?  Find out more about it in ‘A Taste of Bali – stories and poems’ which is available as an e-book on Kindle from Amazon A Taste of Bali (Kindle) or hard copy from poodlepress@gmail.com– please mention my name!

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