Today I did something I never thought I’d do. I asked to sample Durian Gelato. The Durian is a fruit from the Phillipines that is of mythic proportions. An ex-girlfriend’s Grandmother used to tell me that it was, “The fruit that tastes like heaven, but smells like hell.” Lola, you had that one down cold. The only problem is when I put this tiny morsel of gelato into my mouth I was struck by a flavor that wouldn’t go away.
First there was a sulfurous bite followed by a somewhat grassy, well rotten grassy flavor, but never once was there anything sweet in the taste. I had the chance to try this at the local Marco Polo gelato shop on Taraval street. Don’t hold the Durian gelato against them though. They have a lot of the standard flavors you’d find in a gelato shop like rum raisin, pistachio, arcobaleno, double chocolate, but they also have mixed in Asian flavors such as sesame, taro (that’s ube in the Phillipines), green tea and of course the Durian.
This is a fruit that Andrew Zimmern who hosts Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel can’t even get himself to try. He says it’s because he, “just can’t get past that funky, gross smell.” I figured gelato might water down the strength of the flavor, but if it did, I can see why Andrew would never eat the fruit. This is the same person who I have watched eat bugs, rotten egg omelets, but there is one fruit he just can’t eat. That tells me a lot of how bad the smell is if he can’t even eat it.
So what do you all think? Durian, yay or nay?