Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It Came From Chinatown...

There's no denying that, during the last couple of weeks of ICFC, I've gotten off unarguably light. The Aromatic Fried Fish weren't exactly a trip to the zoo in a chocolate limo or anything, but they weren't horrible, and the Brown Candy was just that... candy; pretty tasty, even if Skittles or Reese's Pieces could kick it's ass and steal it's Air Jordans any day of the week. So, given that, I'd say I was just about due for a palate-whomping of epic proportions, just so I don't go all soft on you guys.

Kids, believe me, I got just that. Consider me whomped, but good. Without further adieu, I give you... The Durian:

What the fuck? Exactly. Here's a closer look:

Freaky-deaky, right? Okay, so despite looking like the testicle of some Lovecraftian horror, the durian is actually a fruit; one that's suited up for battle, by the looks of it. Those spines are sharp as needles; getting this fucker out of it's netting took some bomb-squad finesse. Not from me, though. I let Girlfriend do all the durian grunt work because I'm not exactly good with my hands when it comes to skill-based jobs such as this. If it were up to me to prep the Battle Fruit, there would be no ICFC today; I'd be in the hospital having some weird Chinese produce removed from what was once my foot. Which, admittedly, would also make for an excellent blog post, but I haven't quite crossed that crucial "publicly maiming myself for attention" line as of yet (give it time). Anyway... oh, I should also point out that this particular durian was about as heavy as books A-through-D of your lame, graduation-present Encyclopedia set.

Alrighty, so we've got a potentially lethal outer skin, we've got a weight that's at least that of your average Oompa-Loompa, and we've got an overall appearance that makes the word "ugly" go, "Man, now I've got to redefine myself; thanks a whole fucking lot, durian." So now, let's talk about the smell:

Even before we cracked the durian open, it was giving off an odor unlike anything I'd ever smelled before. If an apple, a banana, and a handful of gummi bears were melded together in one of Seth Brundle's teleportation pods, then left out in the sun to rot, you'd get pretty close to the way this thing reeked. Or, okay, you how when there's something wrong with your oven and your whole kitchen smells like gas? It was exactly like that, but fruit-flavored. And, keep in mind, this was before we even opened it!!!

Upon cracking the bastard open (again, Girlfriend did the dirty work), the stench increased tenfold. Girlfriend was lucky enough to currently have a head cold, so she missed out on the majority of the durian stink thanks to her plugged-up sinuses. I, tragically, was not so fortunate. In the past, I've talked about how badly some of the other ICFC products have stunk. While true, at least with the other things, the odor has been identifiable as something from this planet (namely, fish guts). Not so much the case with the durian. This was, in fact, my first encounter with a smell from outer space.

Here's a good look inside the madness:

The pale yellow, buttery stuff? Yeah, that's what you're supposed to eat. For real. Staring into the open durian was like stepping into the shoes of a character in a science fiction novel. Ethnic fruit? Nope, that's an alien pod if ever there was one. Using a spoon, I scooped out some of the lurid, slimy goo. I sputtered and coughed as I brought it up to my mouth; I could almost see the stink lines coming off of it like an edible version of Pigpen.

For the full effect, I smeared it across my tongue:

Holy fuck, guys. Seriously... holy fuck. It's creamy, almost like a custard, but with a skin around it like a thin layer of Saran Wrap. But I didn't really have time to be freaked out by the texture, because just then, the taste grabbed me by the back of the head and slammed my skull into the kitchen counter over and over and over until there was nothing left but a ruined face and an ocean of blood.

I'm exaggerating only slightly.

Yes, it was unimaginably foul. But the flavor was also maddeningly complex, like a calculus equation. Never have I tasted something so deep and with so many layers, all of which being a different shade of butt-nasty. It was fruity, of course, but a funhouse version of fruitiness that's all warped and evil. And there's a cheesy taste to it as well; something French and stinky and lined with blue veins of mold. The fruitiness and the cheesiness is then washed over with the taste of garlic and onions that have been left in the dark recesses of a refrigerator to get all damp and musty. And despite all of this, it tasted fresh! It wasn't an old durian; it wasn't rotten or putrid or anything like that. There was an unmistakable cleanness to it that told me one thing: This was exactly what it was supposed to taste like. My mind has officially been blown.

The reaction to having said fruit in my mouth was predictable:

But what caught me off guard was what happened as I attempted my customary second "just to be sure" bite. As I brought the next spoonful up towards lips, I caught another strong whiff of it's powerful grossness. And then, I came the closest I've ever come to vomiting from an odor alone:

Like any good war photographer, Girlfriend was quick enough to catch a shot of me in mid-gag. Which I think says all that needs to be said about my feelings on the subject of durian. Well, that and, of course, this:

Despite what I've written above, I really do urge all of you to seek out the durian and give it at least a cursory taste. Yes, it's disgusting, and yes, doing so will make you hate me, but no kidding... you've never, ever tasted anything like this in your life. And trying new things is what ICFC is all about, even if it makes you want to die.
Oh, and PS... I can still taste it a little bit, twelve hours later. See y'all next time!!!


Blogger The Dutchess of Kickball said...

The inside of this scary fruit looks very similar to a health class model of a vagina/ uterus.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

You captured just what I was thinking – alien pod – it looks like something taken from an Area 51 alien autopsy video. You didn’t notice the little green person that was gestating inside that thing jump out and hide behind your refrigerator did you?

9:38 AM  
Blogger Sally Tomato said...

At first I thought the durian was some kind of animal. Holy crap, you are very stalwart for even attempting to eat that. Blech!

9:43 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Dutchess... Did you health class used monster vaginas for their models?

Digital... THAT'S what that was. Oh crap, I should probably go "take care" of that little dude before he tries to take over the world.

Tomato... I'm totally stalwart. Best description of me ever!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Giggleloop said...

Some choice quotes from the Wikipedia entry:

"Widely known and revered in Southeast Asia as the "King of Fruits,"[1] the fruit is distinctive for its large size, unique odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk."
-Did anyone about the dorian strike you as "King of Fruits"-y?

"The edible flesh within emits a distinctive odour, which is regarded as either fragrant or overpowering and offensive... This unusual odour has prompted many people to formulate evocative descriptions, with views ranging from those of deep appreciation to intense disgust."
-Yep, sounds about right.

In fact, skip down to the Flavour and Odour section for some choice quotes. Although I gotta say, the durians pictured on the Wiki look far less disgustingly obscene as yours did. Maybe yours was off?

Having said all that, I would NEVER eat one of these things, they pretty much perfectly epitomize the phrase "butt-nasty". You're a brave brave soul, C-Dog.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Cray said...

I think I saw them pummel each other with these things on the new American Gladiators. If the spikes didn't hurt enough, I guess they just crack one open in front of each other.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

I really liked durian when I had it.

Now, the durian was prepared for me as a dessert (I think with sticky rice or something). That means that I didn't have to go through the work of opening it and smelling it.

Before we had it, our host described the durian to us. He told us that it is the worst smelling fruit you can imagine, but can taste very good. He gave us the best description I've heard (until I read your blog). "Durian is like eating strawberries and cream while standing in a latrine"

It can be good, but not if you have to deal with it before you eat it.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Giggleloop... Ah, no. Nothing King of Fruity-y about it. Besides, we all know that the real King of Fruits is the mighty, marvelous apple.

Cray... I *knew* I'd seen it somewhere before. Wow, I just ate a celebrity. Sort of.

Ross... Oh, I don't doubt that they can be good. Obviously we weren't preparing them with any sort of care or finesse. And I know a lot of people love them (obviously, or they wouldn't sell them). Anthony Bourdain, in one of his books, talks about trying one for the first time and loving it. I think it has a lot to do with personal taste, as well.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Lioux said...


I want to wear one onstage as a cod piece.

With my new band Durian Durian®™©™

10:52 AM  
Blogger Birdwatching From Mars said...

dude, it looks like some kinda gestation pod from a bad sci-fi movie. It HAD to have tasted like ass and coffin rot. Ugh!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

I can't wait to see Durian Durian®™©™ performing all their durian fruit themed songs in concert.

You Have To Be Hungry Like The Wolf To Eat A Durian, Open A Durian For A View To A Kill, Save A Prayer For Me I'm About To Eat A Durian, and Is There Something I Should Know About This So-Called Fruit?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous lengli said...

Growing up with a gaggle of multicultural friends that would have made Rudy Huxtable jealous, I've heard about the legendary Durian but have never actually had the privilege (?) of experiencing it firsthand. Seeing what it looks like and your reactions only confirms that I should stay far, FAR AWAY. So thanks for that!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Braden said...


Dear Diary,



11:40 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Lioux... *zing* Dude, you're going to be so famous, no joke. I totally excpect a cut of the profits.

Birdwatching... A very complex, multi-layered ass, but yeah, pretty much.

Digital... *double zing* Man, I had no idea I was such a fan of durian-themed wordplay.

Lengli... Hey, no probs. Though seriously, you really should try it once, just to say you've been there.

Braden... Oh that B-dog, always pukin' on diaries! That boy's a mess, I tell you what.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

By the way, I like the shaved-face look.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Thanks, it was getting itchy.

12:11 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

mad props to you my friend!

not even andrew zimmern could keep this fruit down! he spit it out after one bite!

i've known about the durian fruit for some time but have never known anyone who's actually tasted it.

and yes, it does look the inside of a dead rotting vagina possibly hanging on the wall of ed gein's house.

12:43 PM  
Blogger surviving myself said...

you should've put some ketchup on it.

1:14 PM  
Blogger i like cheese said...

I seriously just threw up in my mouth a little after reading this post. I am now going to have nightmares about giant, dripping Durians. *shudder*

1:26 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Jason... You don't hear enough about Ed Gein these days. Did you see that terrible movie about him with Steve Railsback? It wanted so badly to be art, but it was more like fart.

Surviving... It would have absorbed the ketchup into it's very being.

Cheese... Always happy to scar my friends!

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SWEET HOLY CHRIST. That is the most blatantly vaginal foodstuff I've ever seen. Good lord.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Dutchess stole my thunder. It looks like a ball sack on the outside and a veeg on the inside! Sir, you just ate an alien Va-Jay-Jay!

Also: The middle finger/hand-job photo keeps making me giggle

1:46 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

You people must have all encountered some truly terrifying vaginas in your time.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Have you ever met my wife?

Completely unrelated SouthPark quote: "The galgamack vagina is 7 feet wide has razor sharp teeth! Do you really expect us to have sex with that?!"

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boss loves durians and eats them every summer. Needless to say he's not allowed to eat them indoors! The smell is truly hideous.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Todd... You poor, poor man.

Anon... It is indeed. We had the durian in our apartment last night for an hour and a half, tops, and you could still smell it a little bit this morning. Wicked foul, that.

3:38 PM  
Blogger blythe said...

ah yes. "smells like a baby diaper, tastes like ice cream!" no, no it doesn't. unless you mean baby diaper ice cream. i fell prey to this prickly "fruit" one fateful night a few summers ago. i can still taste it. it's up there with sea urchin in my book. i'd rather eat pickled tripe pate.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Yeah, it certainly didn't taste like ice cream. Texture and consistancy-wise, sure, but not taste.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Ben K. said...

Why did you just attempt to eat a pair of overgrown, spiky testicles?

5:28 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

clinton- i saw bits and pieces of it on IFC (aka-the poor man's sundance) and wasn't impressed. the sexploitation 70's version whose title escapes me is better.

i did see "dahmer". that film was "artsy" too but i think it succeeded more so than the artsy ed gein pic. "dahmer" was pretty decent as far as serial killer biopics go.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Ben... Well, there's a lot of reasons, but basically it's because I never paid attention in school and, thus, never had the grades to get a good job in the real world, ergo I have to do this kind of stuff to keep myself distracted and amused so I don't start thinking about how much of my life I've wasted.

Jason... I know what you're talking about re: the 70's exploitation Ed Gein movie, but I can't think of it either. That's going to bug me all night. Anyway, yeah, "Dahmer" was pretty good. The guy who played him, Jeremy Renner, was fantasticly creepy.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does your girlfriend hate you or something?

Or perhaps you have a death wish.

I do not know.


10:25 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Just an adventuresome spirit, I guess.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Heavy B said...

Your culinary prowess knows no bounds! Sir, I heart you.

Also, you can get a durian shake in our fair city! http://famousfatdave.com/blog/2006/04/21/morning-in-queens-2/

10:36 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

And I heart you for hearting me! It's a heart-fest!!! And, yeah, I think I'll be passing on the durian shake. While I'm glad I tried it, I don't think it's something I ever, ever, ever, ever, ever need to do again. Ever.


10:41 AM  
Blogger Heavy B said...


I actually just tagged my roomie's wall with a giant silver heart on Sunday. aww.

I have been curious about trying durian ever since reading about that durian shake, but your description of the smell being fruity in some alternate universe where fruity is nasty and evil is pretty spot-on, so yeah.

I need to update our blog. oy.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Now I've got "These Dreams" by Heart stuck in my head. Also, you spray-painted your roomates wall? Isn't that like no-no behavior? Or are you guys way cooler than my past roomates, who were definitely NOT cool with me spray-painting all their stuff?

Oh and I linked to you kids blog on my blogroll thingy on my blog. Blog blog bloggity blog.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Heavy B said...

Well my roomie has been begging me to tag his walls forever, so it's all good. The landlords haven't seen it granted, but we have resumed paying rent, so in my book we're model tenants! Never mind the loud music and inability to be quiet, etc. We rule!

Thanks for the link, sir. You're one of our fave bloggers. I need to harass Jive and make him write again, since he's hilarious, as you can see by his only entry, the first one in out blog, which you can see by going back only ONE PAGE. We are so sad.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Dunno, I was partial to the title "It's Me, The Drunk Who Ruined Christmas." If only because that could very well be the autobiography of all my Decembers.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Oh, and thanks. I always find it hard to believe that I'm anyone's favorite anything, but it's still nice to hear.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Heavy B said...

You are totes our fave! We gather around the warm, glowing laptop and read you!

And word: The Drunk Who Ruined X holiday/event. Ask me about the time I vom'd on myself at an author event! One of my authors no less. Oy.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

One of *your* authors? Oh my god, are you an author pimp? What are the rates? Do they do literary interp, or is just a straight reading from their text?

(author-as-prostitute jokes!)

1:31 PM  
Blogger Irish and Jew said...

EWWW! I'm glad i was out yesterday because i would have most certainly barfed up my lunch. Srsly this is one prickly vag.


1:40 PM  
Blogger Heavy B said...

I run Heavy B's House of Literary Bitches. And you best believe my authors offer uncensored readings. Recognize.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Jew... Ah, you love it. Prickly vag, that is.

Heavy B... I'll take a brunette reading Chaucer. In the original Middle English, if you've got the staff to accomodate that.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Big Pumpkin said...

This. Was hilarious!! And I just had some durian tonight. *burp*

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

put some ketchup like budu.. do you know budu?? find it..

3:47 AM  

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