Four Ways Thais Cook Durian At Chanthaburi Fruit Festival, 2015 | Chanthaburi, Thailand

This year, the Chanthaburi Durian Festival moved away from it's old comfy if squishy headquarters around King Taksin Lake Park to a new location about 12 km from the city. There it sprawled into something not quite recognizable as a durian festival.

The most fruity part of the festival was the enormous Free Fruit Buffet, a madhouse of fruit and fruit eaters that took place every day from 11-2 AM and 5-7 PM. Along with all-you-can-stomach mangosteen, rambutans, snakefruits and of course durian, they served platters of durian cooked into four traditional Thai desserts.

Durian As A Vegetable: Durian Massaman Curry and Salad at Chanthorn Restuarant | Chanthaburi, Thailand

What can you do when a freak rainstorm knocks durian fruits off the tree before they are ripe?

Or when unscrupulous Thai vendors sell you fruits that will never ripen properly, and remain as dense and white and appealing as a raw potato? Make Massaman Curry. Or go to a restaurant that makes Vegan Durian Massaman Curry, like some friends and I did recently in Chanthaburi, Thailand.

Rayong Fruit Festival 2015 | Rayong, Thailand

The province of Rayong doesn't get enough durian credit. It's located just next door to Chanthaburi, Thailand's attention-hogging durian capitol, and grows enough durian that any of you fanatics should sit up and take notice.

Rayong is the second largest producer of durian in Thailand, and they put on their own celebration of the King of Fruits every May around the same time as the festival in Chanthaburi. It's odd how some places or events get really famous, while others are either forgotten or never discovered.

Green Acres Organic Durian Eco-Retreat | Penang, Malaysia

Wow, I kept repeating. For once, I wasn't talking about the durian. I was talking about the durian farm.

Last summer, my friend Ryan and I visited Green Acres, an eco-retreat center built on an organic durian farm. I've visited more than my share of pretty awesome durian farms, but right away I knew this solar-powered, off-the-grid farm was in another league of coolness.

And yes, that is a durian tree house. My unfulfilled childhood dreams just died of happiness.

A Durian Map of Koh Phangan Because I Can | Koh Phangan, Thailand

View from Khao Ra

Last fall, Rob and I took up residence on Koh Phangan, Thailand. It wasn't durian season, and for lack of something better to do I began recording the GPS of every durian tree I found. This baffled Rob. "What exactly, " he said, "Are you going to do with that? How will that ever be useful?"

"Hmmmm," I said. "I don't know. But I bet if I put it on the blog, someone will have a good idea."

Four Interspecies Hybrids of Durian | Banyuwangi, Java

Fairy tales are full of inter-species hybrids. Centaurs, sphinxes, mermaids, griffins -  how many Harry Potter plots depend on these unlikely anatomical mix and matches?

Real-life hybrids sound like just as much fantastical fun. Their names are slangy portmanteaus that give just enough of description to push our imaginations into action. Zebroid. Liger. Aprium. Pluot. Tangelo. Rabbage.

It's unforgivable that no one has come up with a good name for interspecies hybrids of durian. I mean, D. graveolens x D. zibethinus x D. kutjensis? Come on.

*Please remember, all photos published on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Year of the Durian and Lindsay Gasik . If you want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!