We interrupt the series on edible durian species to bring you this month’s durian news.
Durian never fails to cause controversy somewhere. In this month’s edition , a durian fanatic (it wasn’t me, I swear!) flies into a temper tantrum in a Chinese airport when officials deny passage of her beloved fruit, a durian inspector’s life is threatened after he exposes some shady durian business, and the University of Singapore decides to look into why old people like durian more than the younger generation.
This story just makes me laugh, because I would totally do this. At the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, security officials told a woman that she would not be allowed to bring her 3 kilogram durian onto the airplane. According to Want China Times, the woman flew into a fit.
“”If I can’t take it on board I’ll just eat
it here!,” the woman shouted. She used her indignation at fruit discrimination to smash the spiky husk open against the tile floor. She then sat down on the floor and consumed the contents of the fruit under the shocked gaze of other passengers.
This woman may be my hero.
|This is how we do it
If not her, then Rayong Agricultural officer Songtham Chamnan definitely deserves an award in durian heroism. The Bangkok Post reports that Chamnan exposed a ring of durian traders and growers who had sneakily been cutting durians early in order to take advantage of high early season prices. Although with treatment these durians will eventually soften, they will never taste sweet. Boo!
Chamnan’s whistle blowing so enraged local durian racketeers that a select group of growers and traders pooled 1 million baht in order to hire a hit man. Chamnan is currently under police protection. All because of durian. Read more at The Pattaya Mail.
Cutting durians early is actually a crime in Thailand. Rayong governor Tawatchai Therdpaothai warned that those who deceive the public with under ripe durians could face a three-year jail term,
or a fine of up to 6,000 baht fine, or both. In our opinion, cutting durians at all is a travesty. To imagine a durian cut several days or weeks early just hurts. So cheers for Chamnan for defending the quality of Thailand’s durian!
|Cheers for Songtham Chamnan!
Many durian producing countries, including Thailand, have noted a trend toward durian-dislike among the younger generation. Many of the durian-loving older crowd shake their heads and sigh about Western influences when asked why young people find durian so disgusting. The National University of Singapore has decided to see if there is a scientific reason that young people are more sensitive to the more off-putting elements of the durian’s odor.
The study will test how sense of smell changes as we age. Study leader Seow Yi Xin is looking for 300 volunteers between the ages of 21 and 80 to participate in sensitivity tests to 10 different odors like citrus, spicy, minty, rancid, floral, earthy, smoky, nutty, savory, and fruit. Since durian is often compared to all of these flavors, the results should be interesting. Read more at the China Post.
To end on a random note, durian has yet again snuck into a United States cooking competition. On May 3rd competitors of the Key Ingredient Cook Off in Chicago will attempt to make something tasty out of durian, millet, celery, dried shrimp, and Malort. With dried shrimp and malort in the mixture, I sincerely wish them luck. I just hope they don’t blame the disgusting results on the durian.
|It’s durian season in Thailand again! Hooray!
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