Friday, March 20, 2009

Durians in London Chinatown

durian+london+chinatownWhen I went back to Singapore for a visit last year, one of the first thing I headed for are the durians. For the unintiated, you can read about it here.

As mentioned in the earlier post, durian is one of those things that either you love it or hate it. There's absolutely no middle path.

I came across some in London's Chinatown last weekend and was pleasantly surprised that the 'King of Fruits' were going for a rate comparatively, if not cheaper than those peddled back home.

Those sold in Singapore are imported from Thailand and Malaysia. With fancy names like 'D24', 'Red Prawn', 'Sultan', these different strains of durians all have their unique taste and their prices differs.

The ones sold in London's Chinatown, however, were simply labelled as 'Thai Durian'. That sounded a bit dubious. Furthermore, the shapes were irregular, which seemed to suggest that they were of inferior quality.

Unlike back home where they are sold in specialised stalls, these durians are carelessly displayed with jackfruits and even other vegetables. I don't supposed they would even help you split it open for easy consumption. I'm not that nifty with knives so I wouldn't be in a hurry to try them out.

I heard from some that these durians having flown halfway across the world, taste rather bland . Have you actually tried any durians outside South East Asia before?

Durians - the King of Fruits!
Strawberries delight

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Dutchie said...

I did see vaccumed packed durians at the chinese grocer in Amsterdam last year. Didnt bother to look further bec the price was 2 digits for 4 pieces.

I dont really care for the classifications in SG. Should we chanced upon a roadside stall, we would try it out. During the peak season, NTUC (Bishan)supermart has a in-house stall offering pre-packed fruits - 4 in a box for S$ 20,00 which was daylight robbery ! A fellow shopper next to us commented that if one wants to enjoy the fruit, one should be prepared to pay the price - how cynical I thought ! In the end, we had value-for-money at the wet market - S$5 per durian.

Oh, a blogger from M'sia has discovered durian egg tarts !!! Yum lah - egg tarts r my favourite n having the durian paste in it is a double treat :-)

SheR. said...

I've seen Durians in Chinatown but mouldy!!! I can't exactly remember in which country. Oh the smell just reeks of stale Durians from a distance!!!! That's why foreigners never appreciate Durians. They bought the stale ones! :P

Martin In Bulgaria said...

They remind me of something rather rude so I won't say.

kyh said...

I soooooooooooooo love durian with glutinous rice + coconut milk! YUMMMM

Better Interpersonal Communication said...

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Hope you like it.

Best Regards,

Little Miss Random said...

I'm one of those who hates durians myself. I guess if you had to explain it to a Brit, you could tell him durians have a similar effect on people as Marmite does!

I can't even take durian puffs or durian ice-cream. Ugh.

A father said...

I have come across vacuum packed ones in the Wing Yip store in Birmingham. I am not much of a fan but my wife loves it.

*lynne* said...

According to a Malaysian in Australia I chatted with last month, they can easily find durians in Aussie, but they've been frozen somehow for transportation, and therefor have no smell. ... and the smell is part and parcel of the whole durian experience!! So he was looking forward to eating the real deal while in Malaysia :)

Here in Chicago's Chinatown, I literally stumbled across some durian - very much like your picture, they didn't look good, and... since they didn't have any smell, I knew they wouldn't be any good. Didn't even bother to find out the price!

My hubby found some Product of Thailand durian (about 2 "compartments" worth) already kupased, wrapped, put in a plastic container, wrapped again, then frozen in one of the Asian stores and bought it for us. Wow, it still stank up the apartment/fridge, surprisingly. I think this is the best compromise on getting durian here in the US.

twinks said...

Wow Durian. This is my family's all time favorite fruit. Luckily we have plenty here in Philippines. I am an exception, because I am not really a fan of the fresh Durian, I love the Durian candies and ice cream more. I do eat the fruit, one seed is enough.

Have a great day ^_^

Anonymous said...

Hmm... i have a love turn hate relationship with durians - but my hubby LOVES them - he hasn't tried any here so i can't say anything - but we do bring back durian cakes ;p

Fireopal said...

wow... durians..
do they have D24?
Cat Mountain king there?

Just a hi from a fellow Singaporean!