hasn’t done their Christmas shopping yet? Apparently everyone in Kuala Lumpur, and that includes
Rob and me. During our last few days, we have been racing around trying to find
cool, exotic gifts for our families and friends back home in America who probably wouldn’t appreciate a gift of our favorite fruit.
Even if our families aren’t big fans, come Christmas Eve I’m sure I’m not the only one who has
visions of durian dancing in my head. After all, the Malaysian durian season always co-occurs with Christmas, and tales of gluttony abound. Even in the Northern Hemisphere, durian freaks gather around the holidays to enjoy a meal centered around durian, an unconventional replacement for the turkey. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if old Kris Kringle himself was a durian
fan – after all, durian is like milk and cookies combined into a gloppy
natural custard. Here
are a six gift ideas for that one (or more) odd person in your life who really, really loves durian. If you are that durian freak, here are a few items you might like to get for yourself with all that lovely Christmas money. And instead of cookies, this year consider
sharing some of the durian deliciousness with Santa.
This is now one of my prized possessions. Much thanks to Eddie
from Durian Apocolypse for giving it to me! It’s light weight, fits in a purse
or a pocket, and can even be taken on airplanes! Not that it can be actually
used on an airplane, although that would be fun (Guinness World Records for
highest altitude durian opening?), but it is useful when traveling a lot or
when you simply don’t feel like carrying a knife. I’m not actually certain where you can buy these outside of Malaysia, but I am hoping to find a source soon to sell on this website.
Freeze Dried Durian
tasted this at Sunshine Durian Factory in Thailand, and immediately loved it.
Freeze-dried durian is crispy, crunchy and sweet with a mild durian funk. I sent
a sample home to my family, and even my Dad liked it enough to ask for more for
Christmas. That’s the stamp of American Approval! I’m posting a link to
Sunshine’s product, but that’s just because I’ve had theirs and can attest to
the quality. There are lots of other brands to choose from. Just check
really cook but if I did I would totally use this in absolutely everything.
Durian Flavoring Essence can be used just like vanilla or almond essence to
flavor cakes, cookies, sweet breads, ice cream, puddings, smoothies, or even
(probably) mashed potatoes. I come across it in recipes sometimes when durian
is out of season, too expensive, or just low flavor. If you live in Malaysia or Thailand, you can probably find Durian Flavoring Essence in your local grocery store. For the rest of us, you can order it on Amazon.com for $3.79 USD for one 2 oz bottle or $12.90 USD for five bottles.
Durian Picture Book
beautiful. It comes in so many shapes, colors and forms, all of them
fascinating and drool-inducing. When not eating durian, let your durian junkie
dream about eating durian by getting them a book with lots of pictures. My
favorite is Dr. Salma Idris’s Durio of Malaysia, a MARDI publication.
Ms. Salma did her PhD on wild durian species, and her book describes each
durian species in Malaysia and with maps of where to find them and some really great
photography. I snapped up the last three copies when we visited MARDI on
Tuesday, which I’m willing to part with for $25 each. You can also buy it online from Mary Martin Booksellers.
are legal. If your durian junkie has a garden, and lives in a tropical place, consider giving him some special durian seedlings. Or,
if you want to really show your love, get him some wild durian seeds from
Borneo. For a limited time, you can buy durio oxleyanus and durio
graveolens (red and orange flesh) on e-bay! What’s more Christmassy than bright red durian?
comes down to it, all us durian junkies really want is to eat durian. Those of
you who live in Malaysia and Singapore have it easier. Right now is peak season,
and durian is cheap and available! To show you really care, consider upping the
ante to something really nice, like a Black Thorn or Musang King. If you live
in the USA your choices are more limited, but that just means your sweetie will
appreciate it all the more. Buy your darling a frozen Thai monthong from any
Asian grocer or order it fresh online at www.buyadurian.com. See a review here.
afsi refghi says
Speaking of Atlanta, are there any durian focused groups of people in the Atlanta area that you know of that get together just to pig out on, discuss and admire durian?
Mike VanValen says
I want to know if fresh durian is available in south Florida. I have not been able to get a straight answer.
Lindsay Gasik says
Durian does not grow in Florida. There are several trees but they have never produced fruit. Therefore, any durian you eat will come from Thailand. I know for a fact that Hong Kong Supermarket in Atlanta, Georgia, carries fresh (not frozen) Thai durian and I see no reason why you couldn't find it in Miami. It will be expensive; think $6/pound, and only available during the Thai season.
I hope that is the answer you're looking for. Happy durian hunting!
I will buy one of the Durian books. I e-mailed off-line for more information. Thanks.
seattle has legalized pot, so now we can eat durian stoned