At durian stalls in Asia, Rob and I would draw stares of disbelief. Someone would inevitably ask, "How is it you eat durian? Western people can't stand durian." Then they would say sagely, tapping their nose, "The smell."
The truth is that we are not alone in our durian adoration. There is a select group of non-Asians throughout the Western countries who are already completely in love with the King of Fruit, smell included. Rob and I met up with some of them in Los Angeles, where they hosted our first durian presentation at their monthly meeting of Fruitluck LA, a fruit-appreciation and raw food club. You can view all 50 minutes of our presentation below.
|Durian at the Santa Monica Fruitluck. Picture by somebody else|
We had lot of fun with the Fruitluck crew, and a lot of durian! Justin, the event's organizer, purchased 13 boxes of durian. That's more than 50 durians! The event was even sponsored by a durian seller, CTF Brand durian from Thailand. I have to say, I liked their durian. I like any durian.
The Fruitluck is, in my opinion, a brilliant idea. It's a fruit-lover's spin on the traditional potluck. Instead of complicated casseroles and other dishes, everyone is encouraged to bring a box of fruit to share. The group meets once a month in a beach side park Santa Monica, organizing through meetup.com/Fruitluck. They also host other fruit-friendly events, such as our presentation.
|Glad to be back on the west coast...where hippie-ish behavior is normal|
I believe we can call the event a smashing success, although nobody threw any durians. The only hitch may have been that the durians arrived frozen only hours before we were set to indulge. Frozen durians typically take anywhere between four and eight hours to defrost enough to get open. The Fruitluck volunteers employed some tactics for speeding up the process, and an hour later the durians were edible, if rather icy. Not only did everyone like durian, they liked the way durian smells. Take that, stereotypes!
The venue was limited to 30 people and spaces filled up within days of announcing the event. That doesn't sound like a lot of people, but it was enough to switch on my stage fright. Did I seem tense? Yes. At any rate, here's the result of our first ever presentation. Hope you enjoy! Please post below any thoughts, concerns, advice (I could use some speaking advice), and praise. I like praise.
Viewing difficulties? Watch it HERE.
Much thanks to Justin, Lauren, Keong, Evan and everyone involved in setting up the event and editing the video. It was a lot of work for everybody! We had a blast hanging out with all you durian lovers and enjoying the South California sun, fun, and good fruit. I really, really love the Got Durian t-shirts. Thank you!