Six-hundred fruit lovers and health seekers swarmed to the upper corner of New York state last week to attend the Woodstock Fruit Festival. It is by far the largest gathering of certified fruit freaks that I know of, and that includes durian fanatics. Although the durian was imported frozen from Thailand, this was the most high energy celebration of durian I have ever attended, surpassing even the famed Chanthaburi Durian Festival in excitement and energy.
The Woodstock Fruit Festival is the brainchild of ultra-runner and fruit obsessor Michael Arnstein, who designed it as a meeting place for those following a predominantly raw food diet that uses fruit as the main source of carbohydrate. Folks following this way of eating swap bread for bananas, pasta for papayas, and donuts for dates. Add a hefty serving of green vegetables, and it’s a nutritious diet that provides a lot of energy and has helped some people cure themselves from a variety of diseases.
Not surprisingly, people with a love for fruit also have a love for durian. And when durian is dinner, you can eat a whole lot more of it. And we did.
Whether it was durian for breakfast, dinner, or midnight snack, durian was on everyone’s mind. We managed to fit in a lot of durian in addition to all the other wonderful fruits and fancy raw fare. Check out our week of fruity fun in pictures below.
Hope to see you next year!
I kept finding fruit in strange places throughout the festival, like these bananas hanging out with bath towels drying in the sun. Festival organizers really worked to make sure there was a big variety of both tropical and temperate fruits to choose between, from mangoes, papayas, coconuts, longans and lychees to peaches, plums, and tangerines.
Every dinner featured an abundant spread of salad greens and other veggie toppings as well as something a little gourmet. From Thai curry to lasagna to falafel, we had something a little different every night.
The durian was frozen, and we were a good 8,000 miles or more from anything close to fresh. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was still one of the most durian-centric and durian-excited festivals I’ve ever been to, and a heck of a lot of fun. I’m definitely hoping to return in 2014. See you there!