Is eating Penang Durian better than sex ?
The short answer is Yes - but here's the slightly longer answer,
I lost my virginity to a rather unpleasant smelling, prickly character way back in 1998. It was a less than memorable first encounter with the 'King of fruit' and left me in no doubt as to my horticultural orientation.
I definitely preferred the delicate and delightfully sweet 'Queen of fruits', the Mangostein.
The following year I once again found myself being unwittingly seduced by the big smelly fruit and I have to admit, it wasn't half bad. A week later I was back for more and it tasted pretty good. Two days later I was at it again and it tasted really good. Next day I rode my motorbike to a stall in Balik Pulau where they sold 'the best' Durian. I was addicted and nowadays I swear if I didn't have a mouth I'd inject the stuff.
So why do most Westerners find Durian disgusting? Is it because they don't persevere beyond that first experience or is it mostly genetic? Actually, I don't give a shit. If other Caucasians don't like 'good' Durian, then that's their loss. I wouldn't consult a young child on the merits of a good red wine, so why ask a Westerner their opinion of Durian? Their taste buds are under developed.
The comparison between Durian and Wine is a valid one. The diversity and complexity of Durian is astounding. The uninitiated never graduate beyond the 'stinky fruit' stage but the addict is always chasing the ultimate taste high. A 'Red Prawn' durian, native to Balik Pulau, is arguably the most exquisite taste sensation on the planet. I'm also very fond of Masang King but there are plenty of other varieties to excite the palate with their array of sweet & spicy notes.
About 12 years ago, Veronica and I stopped off at the Titi Kerawang spice stall and found ourselves being seduced by a harem of sexy fruit. We asked the proprietor to open up one of the durian for us. He obliged and sat watching us, waiting smugly for the usual reaction. No surprise, he got it. I almost spat the first mouthful out.
'That's not very nice', I barked out.
'Ha ha, you Westerners all hate our Durian', he chuckled, content that the status quo had been predictably maintained.
'No, it's not that, we love Durian but that's crap', I hit back.
He smiled and disappeared for about a minute before returning with another Durian and a knife with which to prise it open. He sat down with us and said -
'My apologies, we always give Westerners that species because it's so tasteless that they can almost handle it. It's unusual to meet Foreigners who actually like Durian. Please, try this, it's on me.'
Veronica and I took a bite each, looked up at each other and in that moment we were enmeshed in a state of near orgastic bliss to rival any of our cherished nuptials. What the hell was this Durian? It was incredible.
'It's our local Durian, Red Prawn,' he proudly exclaimed.
A great Penang Durian, like Red Prawn, is a gift from God. It won't contribute to the propagation of our species like sex is designed to do. In fact, it may sometimes be considered a form of contraception. Nothing romantic about cuddling up to someone burping durian but then who needs sex when you have Durian.
Only joking Veronica, I still love you a tiny bit more than the big stinky fruit.