Durian Party – A Short Story (What Does Durian Taste like?)
The large community dining hall at Camp Walden was empty besides a few people in the room. The deep night at the woodstock fruit festival was calm; most members on the site were nuzzled away in their warm beds throughout the different cabins. The scene just outside of the window was lovely.
A beautiful dark navy color had swept across the sky with flecks of tiny lights sprinkled around randomly.
Sounds of chatter from night owls could be heard from a distance. A volunteer was busily working hard in the background to get the room clean for the morning crew’s shift by sweeping up the messy floor from the day’s festivities.
The room was filled with a gorgeous array of different sweet smells, such as watermelon and young Thai coconuts. But the one smell that was the most strong was the durian. It has a very distinct and penetrating aroma similar to that of a very expensive aged cheese, with strong hints of sweetness, and an undertone of rotting onions. Peculiar and unpleasant smell to most.
Though durian does not have a very pleasant smell, that tidbit did not stop me from wanting to devour every durian that filled the dining hall.
Each chair was nearly placed on top of the tables, with their bottoms facing the surface. The only exception was one long table, which was filled with people happily chattering away, and enjoying their treats.
I was sitting there as well, in the midst of the midnight durian party. Empty shells that were lying across the table were the outcome of our nightly feasting. I walked over to the many boxes of durians stacked under the buffet setup, and sorted through, until I found one that seemed like it would taste the best.
Every durian has a different and distinct flavor from the next. I used one hand to hold the fruit by its stem, while the other was getting slightly poked from how it rested underneath its mace-like exterior. I placed the spiky, four pound, oval fruit onto the table.
There were four different pods on the fruit, and underneath each, contained a creamy, delectable treat. I took two fingers and pressed into the middle of one of the golden-colored pods, which created a split down the middle, revealing the alien-like fleshy interior.
“Hmm, this looks like a good one,” I said.
“Well, test it out,” said one of the twelve people enjoying the feast with us.
I proceeded to reach inside the pod and grab onto the large pit surrounded by the flesh, taking up the massive piece of durian out of the pod. I looked at it in my hand for a moment; it was a light yellow color, very plump and squishy. I took a bite of it.
Flavors of sweet vanilla ice cream popped out first, followed by deep caramel custard hints and lastly a subtle, smokey, savory after-taste. The texture was like a very thick custard, soft and creamy. I closed my eyes, smiling and enjoyed the amazing flavor of it. I was completely absorbed in the incredible flavor that I was experiencing. People noticed me.
“Looks like you found a really good one,”
“How’s the flavor of it?”
“This one has a very strong vanilla flavor, super sweet and not oniony like some,” I said, “Try some, guys.”
I shared the large durian across the table, so people could get a taste. They tried some, and were ecstatic about that one’s particular flavor.
A few people leaned back in their chairs; they were relaxing and letting their food digest in their very full bellies. Everyone was happy and laughing; durian tends to have a pleasant on the body, making everything seem light and all the more enjoyable.
There are very few foods in life that one can give such bliss during, and after eating it. It has to be experienced firsthand to understand how it feels.