I wanted to try some new foods the other day, so I went wandering around an Asian grocery store. I found canned lychees, jackfruit, longans, and mangosteens. Hubby and I tried each one.
These are the lychees. They were probably my favorite. The texture is a bit crunchy, reminiscent of onions, but the flavor was similar to canned mandarin oranges, without being citrus-y. They were lightly sweet, and slightly perfumey.
Jackfruit reminded me of mango, but more fibery. These were my second favorite.
These are the mangosteens. They were squishy, like melt in your mouth squishy. The flavor was sweet and light, but the texture was off-putting to me. Hubby liked them though. Some of them had seeds inside, but the seeds were kind of like very soft almonds. They were edible, but I wasn’t a fan. The longans were almost the same as the lychees, just smaller.
The object that inspired the whole adventure was the durian. I read a book that mentioned that an American soldier stationed in Vietnam loved these and had a crate shipped back home to the US. When it got here, the port authority thought it was a box of something rotten and threw it out. Did I take this as a warning? Nope. I thought “Surely it can’t be that bad. Why would people grow and eat it if it was that terrible?”
It looks like mashed up bananas, and the texture is kind of similar. The flavor is lightly sweet and creamy, if you can get past the horrible smell. It smells like the worst, oldest, dirtiest pair of sneakers you can imagine, lit on fire, times a million. I had this box in the freezer, and even though it was wrapped in two layers of plastic, I could smell it in the fridge. My entire kitchen stinks unbearably. We have elected to have the windows open even though it’s 50 degrees outside.
When you taste it, it’s not bad, then the smell invades your nasal cavity and sets up camp. You smell nothing but durian for about 20 minutes, and once it’s faded you keep catching faint whiffs of it. Once that passes, you start burping up durian so you can relive it. Obviously your body is attempting to reject it as quickly as possible, but to no avail. Please, save yourself the misery, and just rest assured that if a food smells like rotten milk burning in a chemical plant, it’s not actually food. I really can’t express how horrid it is. I have had to promise, willingly, never to bring it into the house again. We’re now calling this the Great Durian Disaster. Just looking at the pictures makes my stomach roil.
I had to get that horrible taint out of my mouth, so we ate some smoked gouda, and smoked cheddar from Sprouts, which were both amazing, with a honey crisp apple. The gouda was probably my favorite, and helped erase the memory of the horrendous durian.
If you hate your roommates/family members and want to make them suffer, it is STILL NOT WORTH IT to bring a durian into your home! You have been warned!!