Don’t miss the King while you’re in Medan

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Who’s the King?

I don’t mean the royal. I mean the King of fruit, Durian.

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The King of Medan; Durian Medan

I know that Durian is an acquired taste. Even the mighty Andrew Zimmern felt weak in the knee facing this amazing fruit. But if never tried it, how you know you don’t like it? Don’t judge food from it smell. Hey, if this javanese girl can take the smell of blue cheese and grew to like it, you can do the same with Durian.

Durian Medan will not be the same like those jumbo fruit on steroid stuff you might find at Singapore or Bangkok. Most of Durian Medan came from the forest, or forest like farm. It flesh won’t be as thick as Singaporean or Bangkok’s but the taste ….oooh…. so good. It got more depth, layers of different sweetness and texture.

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These ones were on the bittery sweet side because it contain more alcohol in the fruit.

The most famous durian eating joint in Medan will be Ucok Durian. I personally won’t recommend this place for you if you came alone without the locals, because they unfortunately less friendly. I prefer to look for other Durian joints, that you can see a mountain pile of durians but less customer.

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If you saw a huge pile like this, that means you have lots of option to choose from. So anywhere in Medan with mountains of thorny balls, you’ll be fine.

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These were my favorite, so buttery with mild sweetness.

Why is that? Because most of Durian Medan are great, you won’t be difficult to eat deliciously. But you can have more attentive vendors that spent time to explain things for you, ask your preference of the fruit (mild sweet, very sweet or bitter sweet), provide you with water to wash your hands and other tiny extra services that you most likely won’t get it at the popular joint. Besides, you will be eating it on the spot. If the vendors gave you the bad fruit, ask them to replace that for you. Or if you don’t like the taste, not to your preference, ask them to replace it. Remember, only pay for the fruits you agreed on and eating. Don’t pay for the bad stuff. Whenever I come to Medan, I just stop by to any Durian joint crack one or two for my self, and I never disappointed.

Dude, please try some when you come to Medan. If you like it, that’s great! You’ve experienced one of the most intoxicating beauty of fruits in the world from my perspective. But if you didn’t like it, well at least you know for sure.

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My mom just can’t wait me to take more pictures.

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Oooh, she’s loving it. Don’t worry about funny face or a bit mess, every good food always like that.

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Tribute to No Reservation (part two)

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As my husband said about the 1st part of this article, “He seemed nice, so what?”, I was shocked!

I might revealed my self like one of those bubbly groupies to Anthony Bourdain. Like I would adore him so much just from the way he look. No no no, that’s not the object of this tribute series.I want to make like a remembrance wall for the beloved show that never failed making me smile appreciative and nodded enthusiastically of anything Tony had said. Dear readers, please enjoy my second attempt making another Tribute to No Reservation.

For the purpose of highlighting No Reservation show and not the other ones Anthony Bourdain made or is making, I will use his own words to guide us along this bitter sweet path of memory lane. I quote pieces from Anthony Bourdain’s own writing at Travel Channel Blog “Blutarski: Zero point Zero” .

I present to you (again), the greatly imperfect yet the best food and travel show in the world: No Reservation.

It wasn’t a love at first sight for me ,with this show.

I was exposed to it very late on its tract. It was at the 4th season of the show,  I saw Mr. Bourdain and his wit for the first time. I was taken by surprise with how many f*** words he used on the teve show. A little bit annoyed, yet intrigued with this lanky dude who seemed very…. not nice, in a masculine way. So it was a positive Not-Nice character that made me look for the show’s schedule on TLC. While at that time, I still drawn into -happy go lucky bright and sunny- food shows like Jamie Oliver‘s and Nigella Lawson‘s or -smile into the rainbow- travel show like Samantha Brown‘s.

As a natural pessimistic and born with lack of trust in humanity, I fell for the show immediately. It as mouthwatering as the others, not so many smiley faces, but the ones there, were genuine or at least as a sign of respect. With extra punch of -spiky sometimes pungent and creamy, yet always intoxicatingly addictive and seductive- lines and lines and lines of words in narration.

This show, has the intensity of slightly overripe premium quality Durian for me. Not Thailand’s Monthong Durian kind, with famously obese flesh, sweet but has less essence of true Durian flavor. Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation was and still is, like a wildly grown Durian found in the deep forest of North Sumatera, Indonesia. It has leaner flesh than Monthong, but boy o boy … it sure could knocked you down from mouth-gasmic sensation.

No Reservation gave me a brain-gasmic sensation simply by listening Tony’s narrating with his bold, harsh, never shy, sometimes funny, seemed arrogant but truthfully humble, poetic even romantic choice of words. All of that means, I’m head over heel in love with the show, incase you didn’t catch my point.

But as any man made effort, it will ever be, anything but perfect. So does this show.

As a fan and hypnotized follower of Bourdainsm, I did see the ups and downs between 140 episodes. Although what I thought downs, not necessarily the bad episodes for anyone else, including Tony him self. Next are several shoots he thinks as less satisfying episodes, let’s see if I feel the same.

“The weak SOUTH PACIFIC and MARQUESAS show was the result of pure bad luck. One scene after another went by without anything useful or compelling recorded. One day after another passed with each intended scene turning out to be something other than what we’d hoped. Two full days where nothing worked.  That we were able to cobble together shows at all in cases like these was always a triumph of great camera work and great editing (technique) over content. Sometimes it was a close run thing.” -Anthony Bourdain

You should watch the full episodes, but I agree that this one did not made it to my ‘Ups’ basket. For me, its more to my personal preference of the background setting’s ambiance. I never liked beach or beachy areas more than mountains. Besides that, Tony’s enchanting narration lack of lustful passion or even vengeance. He sounded just polite and normal.

“Responsibility for some failures rested entirely on me. They sucked because I sucked. BERLIN should have been a good show: great producer, great shooters, great fixers, great city. But for no good reason at all, I just wasn’t “into it.” And the show reflected my unhappiness and my unwillingness at the time to even try.” -Anthony Bourdain

“..Lars honestly believe this is a soothing environment. And I.. I guess it is if your idea of soothing is nipple clamps, enemas and assless chaps…” 

His expression towards the kinky museum hotel at Berlin. That’s one line only, put this episode on my Ups basket. When you watch the full episode, listen carefully when he describe his plates of food, you’ll understand what I mean.

Here are some of my favorite ones;

“Schnitzel purist view pork, chicken or turkey schnitzel, the way I view soybean hot dog. That is, with barely conceive contempt.” 

(Head cheeses at Rogacki) It’s a wonderland of pork.” 

“All the petty aggravations of the world fall away in the presence of a perfectly cooked pig shank, or as they say in german — eisbein…. it’s a cheap, preserved piece of meat — tough like a rock….And yet this is the most magnificent thing ever …. Goulash, meaning it’s the less tender cuts of meat….Cabbage — is there a cheaper vegetable in this world?….Potatoes. I mean, this is a panorama of struggle, pain, deprivation, and skill of transforming simple good things into something great.”  

He really could create a seductive paragraph on site, over a humongous pile of peasant food! I could never get over his wordly-charm.

“Some disastrous shoots, through the sheer weight of misadventure turned out, like SICILY, to be good shows. Though not in the way we intended.  The scenes that were supposed to be “great” ended badly—but the ones for which we had low expectations (the caper farmers in Pantelleria) became magically real, spontaneous and fun.” -Anthony Bourdain

This is another episodes that goes straightaway to my Ups basket just by seeing a couple frame of shot when Tony lying down helplessly on Lost and found baggage claim at the Palermo airport and the way he gave us the “what the f***?” blink along with his polite smirk when meeting the President of regional Sicily.

Guys, this was one of those moment when I got goosebumps by seeing a food show. The back sound might influence my mood a little. Reminded me of old mafia movie that my parents used to rent back on VHR days, that I wasn’t allowed to see but a little peek here and there. My brain was quite distracted digesting all the stunning setting, gorgeous character of people featuring on this episode, making me very difficult to pick Tony’s lyrics. But, here’s one with his usual dramatic and gloomy ambiance lurking around the words and the voice.

“Palermo, Sicily. A narrow crumbling street. Cut to a large covered basket. Steam carries the vague sour smell of mystery meat. A heavy man looms silently, revealing nothing. Suddenly, he reaches inside, slaps a steaming mound of flesh onto your palm, and you’re instructed to swallow it instantly, leaving not a trace. Would you do it?”

He talked about Frittola vendor. C’mon, didn’t that description stimulate your mind to find out more? Or hungry.

“ICELAND was certainly improved rather than hurt by running into a blinding blizzard—and a general overlay of depression and darkness.” -Anthony Bourdain

Oh yeah, this one is pretty horribly confusing. If you watch the whole show, you still got a few smile and laugh from Tony’s misery and cranky mood. But this definitely on the Downs basket.

“Maybe the best single example of this was the ROMANIA show, where absolutely everything was ****ed up beyond all hope or recognition: wrong fixer (the inexplicably addled Zamir), unfriendly populace,  officials looking for backhanders,  and guides with other agendas who did their best (in the hope of portraying their country in a desirable light) to ensure that absolutely every genuine moment was quickly  smothered under a thick scrim of artificiality, falsehood and staginess.  It was a nightmare to shoot. An utter failure on all our parts—and yet it became a timeless classic of Travel Gone Wrong—unintentionally hilarious. It may have made all of us Public Enemies in Romania (and the subject of scandal and speculation in their national press)—and it may have been terribly unfair to the country and to the many Romanian expats who tuned in, looking to see something beautiful of their beloved homeland…” -Anthony Bourdain

When Tony’s face didn’t lit up seeing a whole roasted pig, like that, then something was terribly wrong happened

On this episode featured Zamir, Tony’s fixer turn best friend. I gotta admit, a few things I remember about this one are; too many awkward moments related to culture shock or food, rather missed the point bitter humor and loads of alcohol consumption. I got very little, almost none of brain-gasm from it. Downs basket it is.

“But, of course, there were bright spots too. Shows of which I will always be proud.  Favorites, both personal and professional where everything (or most things) came together. HONG KONG, particularly the scene where a third generation noodle maker practices his craft, rocking painfully and disfiguringly on his bamboo pole under the faded photos of his parents encompassed everything I believe to be good and true about people  who choose to make food the very best they can.  It was a beautifully shot and edited sequence– one of our very best. If our show is principally in the business of celebrating cooks—wherever they may cook—and in whatever circumstances—then this was as good an example of our work as we could ask for.” -Anthony Bourdain

Ooh I remember this episode very well, including the Kung Fu style fast hand making dumplings, underground gourmet dinner and generations of soy sauce making family. This one, not only goes to my Ups basket, will guaranteed to make your mouth watering profusely and your stomach growl in envy seeing all the succulently pornographic foods on your screen. How about Tony’s prose? Well, let me show you my favorite.

“Imagine living inside a giant the pinball machine, where the object is not to win, but to eat. Propelled at high speed through space, bounce unpredictably, between flashing lights, through narrow passages ways of seemingly never ending sequence of dark spaces …”

Like a lullaby, his palatable sentences flows on and on and on, rocking you into a deliciously dramatic world of Bourdainsm. You could see it through the sparks in his eyes, that he really was enjoyed him self and truly amazed about the noodle pulling skill.

“I’m happy with all our VIET NAM shows—probably because I’m always so ludicrously happy to be there.  I could just watch the B-roll from those shows all day.  Everybody who works on the show seems to feel the same way.  It’s a good place to work, a good place to eat. A good place to be”. -Anthony Bourdain

Watching No Reservation in Vietnam the first time until the last time was like seeing a kid on amusement park. The phos, the bahn mi, the pork, the mystery meat dishes, the seafood, rice fields, spicy-salty-sour goodness that really speaks to him. All of it go to my Ups basket.

One show that I quite embarrassed, and plunged deeply into my Downs basket, when Tony went to Indonesia.

I don’t know why he didn’t get all the good stuff, the rustic but classic Indonesian food.

If you still remember when Tony wandered around alone in Jakarta’s narrow alleys, eating Nasi Uduk for breakfast-NOT the well known for the taste ones, but more like -to prevent starving ones. It still vividly replayed in my mind when I yell, Why?…. Oh Why…no body took him to the rather decent breakfast vendors? Even the street vendors or hawker style vendors, there are numerous of them that we could show the world, proudly. Nasi Uduk to Bubur Ayam, Nasi Goreng to Bubur Kacang Hijau, Old school bread to fritters.

And then, he bought a bowl of sweet icy dessert from street cart that not known for his hygiene. I’m not being snobbish here, I like those stuff. I ate from hawkers all the time. But I have the stomach for it. Although Tony had travelled around the world, I don’t want him to remember Jakarta as one of the city that made him sick! Another series of yelling and pulling my hair out of frustration happened then. Jakarta has Es Teler 77 and Es Cendol Pondol for example, if he want air conditioned setting. If not, there are lots of places even street food merchant selling Es Cincau, Es Campur, Es Cendol Padang, Es Blewah, Sop Buah, etc with better hygiene and TASTE.

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The Garut scene, well I didn’t know the agenda, but why the hell did somebody bring No Reservation show to a private resort like that? Anthony Bourdain should be allowed to dip his leg to a real culture, stuff that happened everyday for normal people. Not to be isolated to some expensive -faux heritage place. They gave him a room in one of faux-hut that only can be accessed with small wooden boat. Then they delivered a Serabi for him in the same way. What the f*** was that? West Javanese didn’t have floating village culture! That’s not how the REAL Sundanese live their lives! Oh man, I was-and still really angry with that.

There are more of bits and pieces I cursed about that episode, but that’s enough. I don’t want this second part to end bitterly. So, I borrowed another his paragraph that stamped all over with sweetness, love and smile. It’s when he visited his new in laws at Sardinia. Ups basket, for sure.

“SARDINIA was a risky show, because it was so personal, and I had a whole new Italian/Sardinian family looking over my shoulder—and more perilously—I had chosen to include my wife. I anticipated some angry blowback from fans. But my wife’s father’s family in the mountain towns of that incredibly beautiful island were the best “fixers” any one could have hoped for. The cinematography was incredible. And the editors, in spite of the fact that I was sitting in their laps for much of the cut and making their lives miserable, responded with a beautiful and heartfelt love letter to what is for most people an unfamiliar culture.  Warm and fuzzy and family friendly  was NOT what fans of the show had been led to expect of me. But I was grateful for the opportunity to be a Dad on camera.  It paid off in a good story and good show—and as an honest reflection of the facts.” -Anthony Bourdain

Do you remember my King?

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Sorry, I’m not posting about the next king of England. Or even MJ the king of pop.

Nope, not about them.

I’m talking about Durian (again). During my fasting hours, when I supposed to boost my pray activities, somehow it took my mind back to the time when I was at Medan.

Durian Medan, is one of Indonesia’s premium quality of Durian. It has deep and sharp sweetness, without over powering acidity. It has slightly thinner flesh than Monthong from Thailand or Malaysians, but the flavor conquer them all.

Especially the original and organic Durian, fresh from the forest. Nothing, I repeat, nothing will ever taste better than wild Durian straight from the tree.

If you ever get a chance to go North Sumatera, please ask for wild Durian from the forest. You won’t regret it.

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Me and the King, happy moments. (featuring my mother in law picking more Durian for me)

Two different type of wild Durian we tasted, both of them spectacularly delicious.

My left overs after eating five heads of Durian by my self, I can’t finish the rest. We took them home and ate it after refrigerated.

Durian Pancake, the trendy and stylish King of fruit

Durian pancake, Mango and Avocado Pancake
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In the last four to five years, Durian is becoming more acceptable. Not only to westerners’ taste bud, but also the rest of Non- Durian lovers’ -Asian breed tongue.
Sorry, it’s not supposed to sound that harsh. I just want to emphasize that people are relentless finding ways to create something using Durian in order to expand its fan share.
Durian Pancake came around that time.
And it became a big hit.A culture phenomena, I say. Just like Jegging (Jeans-Legging) in the world of fashion. Not every one’s favorite, but still a mega trend.
Pancake Durian actually has variety of forms and texture. The one that become a trend setter is the plumpy and square -pillow like- presentation.

durian & mango pancake

Thin crepe pancake from tapioca flour created a smooth blanket for creamy-doughy and wet Durian flesh. Some use vibrant green color, some are pale to bright yellow.

Durian pancake, Mango and Avocado Pancake

Durian pancake, Mango and Avocado Pancake


The high note for this delicacy is keep your hands clean, dry and not smelly after eating Durian. One of my cousin likes Durian, but she can’t handle to smell its aroma from her fingers after eating it.
a clean bite of Durian

a clean bite of Durian

Now, she pass the Au Naturalle Durian and switched her faith to pancake Durian. It look pretty, easy to eat and you got free hands!
Over the years, more and more people or community make Pancake Durian with their own flare and style. Just like fashion, they mix and matched it with other textures or forms.
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We can find a pancake Durian using crunchy crepes or egg based pancake and more. The red line is, they all use the good quality ripe less fermented Durian.
From the messy and smelly eating to stylish sophisticated dish. Durian Pancake is a cultural phenomena.

Breakfast for the brave

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Durian lovers have the passion and strong stomach to eat this magnificent fruit for breakfast. Imagine enjoy the aromatic fragrance of durian between the coffee aromas inside your favorite Starbucks joint. Hahaha!

Via Flickr:
A breakfast consists of deep fried banana, sticky rice with coconut and chilli sauce, and durian. It’s an acquired taste for sure. This was the first time I tried it and I was hooked.

The chronicle of Sambal and Me

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More and more people in western culture know about Sambal. Which is a chilly based sauce usually use as condiment or side dish or to marinate a produce (either protein or vegetable).

As a country that consist of wide variety of culture, Indonesia also have hundreds type of sambal from Aceh to Irian. Some of the most unusual sambal are Tempoyak, Terasi and Petis, Lado Ijo and Matah.
Here are stories about them.

Tempoyak is a fermented durian based sambal. I know i know, most of non asian culture can’t stand the odor and flavor of the considered king of fruit by it fans. Even though I like durian, the thinking of eating a fermented one shook me a little bit.

It was a potluck event at my previous job when one of my colleague bring a cooked tempoyak based fish stew. I looked and smell the dish first, secretly of course, I don’t want to offend the cook. I see one by one my friend take a piece of fish and the broth. I wait until they take a spoon or two of rice and tempoyak coated fish to their mouth. I wait again for a moment, waiting for their reaction. Frankly, I wait their face turning green that time. But everybody turns out to be just fine, some of them even go back for seconds.

So, I go to the bowl in the most nonchalant way, grab the spoon and take the smallest piece of fish and a little bit of tempoyak based broth. Then I move a side to the nearest wall and have the first taste of tempoyak in my live.

And It did shook me!

Shook me to tears, a happy tears of course. I’m so happy because it taste so delicious. The spiciness from the fresh chilies, shallots and garlic mixed beautifully with the creamy sweetness of durian. Oh my God, is what I’m saying to my self repeatedly that time. It taste even better than a similar fish stew but using coconut milk or even creme fresh.

Tempoyak does taste heavenly good. Adding creaminess as good as creme fresh or coconut milk, but it give additive distinct sweetness and savoriness better than anything I ever taste.

tempoyak based fish stew

After that, I got another opportunity having an original tempoyak from Palembang. I think, well maybe this will not taste as good as the first one. Maybe this one will get fermented more than before, or the spices mixture won’t be the same as the first one, ergo won’t be as good. I prepare for the worst ladies and gentlemen, I even prepare a special garbage bag to wrap it up tightly if I can’t handle the taste. Boy oh boy ….

I make another wrong assumption. It still taste good. Much more strong flavor than my first one, but still delicious. There is nothing like it. I will suggest

Tempoyak as one of 1000 things to eat before you die

It’s a must. Like caviar, you don’t have to like it, but you surely need to taste it at least once in a lifetime.

If your never knew what a terasi is, umm let me prepare you first.
Terasi and petis making culture came from fishermen communities throughout Indonesian long coastline beach. Javanese fishermen as one of the largest producer of terasi and petis didn’t like to waste anything they catch from the sea. They tried to preserve and use anything as much as they can using very traditional methods. Then Terasi and Petis came along.

Terasi (or Belacan as Malay call it) and Petis (or Hae Ko as Hokkien Chinese call it) are shrimp paste. Terasi made from dried ground shrimp in a form of small cakes and has a brick like consistency. While Petis looks like molasses but made from prawn. They both used as flavor enhancer in sambal due to its strong aromatic smell and, umm well, flavor.

Sambal terasi usually is a coarse paste made from chillies, tomatoes, shallots and a small piece of grilled or fried terasi. It can be cooked sambal or raw. Terasi gives the sambal strong savoriness and a little bit bitterness that combined with the spiciness of chillies makes you always ask for seconds, then thirds, fourths, etc. If you eat sambal terasi with warm steamed plain rice and any kind of protein or vegetable, the chance is you will eat the rice twice more than your usual portion. It’s almost addictive.

sambal terasi

Petis has milder flavor, due to the use of sugar, than terasi, but not less aromatic. East Javanese like using petis as compliment for their fruit and vegetable salads; as dipping sauce for fried tofu or as blackening agents for special dish called ‘telur petis’ (hard-boiled egg, simmered in petis based broth).

telur petis

I hope I don’t make you bore with odd sambal stories. The idea making a story on sambal came to me when I having lunch with my husband. I eat a deep-fried duck high with green chili sambal while he ate plain deep-fried chicken.

bebek kaleyo's dish

My green chili sambal this afternoon is a modern twist of Sambal Lado Ijo originated from Padang, West Sumatra. My first love to Padangnese cuisine and specially their full of flavor sambal is about the same time when I fall in love with my husband. Maybe that make me won’t be as objective telling you this story about Sambal Lado Ijo, but I want to share it with you.

The best sambal lado ijo for me came from one Warung Masakan Padang (Padangnese cuisine street food vendor) near my college. We usually have a lunch with plain steamed rice, a grilled chicken or fish plus prawn crackers. The owner put medium jam jar sized plastic container of sambal lado ijo on each table for the guest take as much as, or as little as they want.

Me and my husband (boyfriend at that time)? Oooh we love our sambal, so we take as much as we like. Everytime we ate there, a good one full jar will be emptied just by the two of us. We call the cook “ibu padang” (Padang Mom), and we think she has magical hands that can make such a heavenly sambal.

Ibu Padang’s sambal lado ijo is coarse enough that we can see the green chillies and green tomatoes with naked eyes. But also smooth enough that we don’t need to chew on it or taste the specific bitterness from undercooked green chili’s skin. The level of spiciness is very mild, but enough to make us sweating after eating.

Beside as a condiment, sambal lado ijo has a special place at west Sumatra’s people (not only the one from Padang city) heart. Bebek lado ijo (the original one) and dendeng lado mudo (crunchy beef jerky or sliced beef with sambal lado ijo) are two most popular dishes using these bright green color sambal.

Are your mouth watering already? Hold on, we aren’t finish yet.

Sambal matah is more popular than the other, due to its home town: Bali. Yeah, you must be knew Bali or at least have had heard about it before. Am I right?

Matah came from the word Mentah that means uncooked or raw. But the most fascinating side from sambal matah is not its rawness but the consistency and ingredients. Most of Indonesian sambal in the paste-like form ranging from coarse to baby smooth. Sambal matah is more like salsa, made from chopped shallots, lemongrass and chilies. Lemon grass is the unique ingredient from this type of condiment. It adds not only the crunchiness from raw shallots but also tanginess, but not as sharp as lemon.

When I was a little girl, I have unusual fear of shallots. It all begun when my grandma forbid me to play in the kitchen while she was chopping shallots. She said, shallots will burnt your eyes and make your body smell bad. It’s actually lame, I know. But as a child I truly believe her and since then I never ever want to touch any shallots, including in my food. There’s a phase when every time I finished my meal, I would make every bit of shallot I can identify stocked separately in the corner of my plate.

Then there’s the time when I attend one of my friend’s wedding reception. One of her parents is balinese, so there are a lot of balinese cuisine available for all guests. Including sambal matah as side dish for sate lilit (minced seafood satay on lemon grass stick). In my excitements to the party I didn’t realize when eating all sate lilt with sambal matah in my plate. And it taste good. Light, fresh and spicy.

sate lilit

You can guess what’s next?
I fall in love in the sambal matah concept, and regain my courage to eat all type of raw sambal.

romantisme durian si Casanova dunia boga

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Dia dicinta, dia dibenci. Bak sang Casanova, durian memiliki pecinta sejati yang rela mengeluarkan uang atau menjelajahi bumi demi menemukan kualitas terbaik.

Bagi pecintanya, durian adalah laksana pasangan jiwa. Setiap butirnya dihargai, dicicipi dengan penuh cinta.

Aroma surgawinya menjanjikan kenikmatan paket didalamnya. Walaupun kriteria durian yang sempura berbeda-beda bagi setiap orang.

Ada yang suka warna kuning tua hingga putih pucat (walau ada juga yang merah).

Ada yang menyukai daging buah yang tebal dan renyah seperti durian monthong yang mengkal. Adapula suka kelembutan daging buah yang tebal bagai mentega. Bahkan daging yang tipis sedikit berair pun memiliki penggemarnya sendiri.

Namun kualitas utama yang paling dicari para penggilanya adalah rasa manis memabukkan saat papil perasa di lidah tertutupi oleh lapisan lembut esens durian. Bagi penggemar yang “hard core”, mereka menyukai kadar alkohol yang tinggi dari durian yang sedikit kelewat matang.

Durian lokal Indonesia seperti durian medan, parung atau yang dipetik dari hutan memiliki rasa original otentik. Daging buahnya memang tidak setebal durian bangkok atau monthong, tetapi sensasi manis memabukkan tadi jauh lebih memuaskan.

Indonesia memiliki masyarakat mayoritas penyuka durian. Banyak produk dibuat untuk mempreservasi aroma dan rasa durian. Dodol durian atau Lempok durian, tempoyak, es krim durian, es putar durian, aneka es cendol atau es campur durian, keripik sanjay berbalut durian pedas, sirup durian, martabak manis durian dan lain-lain.

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Namun bagi pembencinya, durian bagai kryptonite bagi superman. Andrew Zimmern bintang acara Bizzare Food di TLC sudah merasakan berbagai makanan aneh yang ada di muka bumi. Durian adalah satu-satunya yang tidak bisa ditolerirnya.

Perpaduan bawang merah busuk, keju dan kadaver (jenazah) adalah penggambaran aroma durian dari kelompok oposisi. Konsistensi daging buah yang mirip custard atau digambarkan seperti lendir menambah tidak nyaman bagi yang pertama kali mencoba.

Saya jelas ada di kelompok pecinta sang Casanova. Bagi saya durian adalah benar-benar buah surgawi. Di lain pihak suami termasuk kelompok oposisi yang tidak menyukai durian, walau tidak membencinya.

Yang pasti, tidak ada buah dengan konstroversi begitu besarnya sehingga nyaris romantis dari si bundar berduri, Durian.