Wondrous Words #147

In today’s edition of Wondrous Words Wednesday I have only one word. It’s, of course, new to me but also very interesting. The word is from Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai.

The word is durian and here is how it was used in the book:

No one has offered

to share

what I smell: sardines, dried durian,

salted eggs, toasted sesame.

The word durian was not in my dictionary, so I checked Wikipedia. There I found the nicest explanation and several great pictures. I learned that durian is a fruit grown on beautiful trees in Asia, primarily southeast Asia. “It is oval, spiny, and contains a creamy pulp. Despite it’s fetid smell, it is highly esteemed for its flavor.”

Uses for durian seem to be for a variety of sweets: candy, cookies, ice cream, and so forth. There are also some traditions regarding this fruit. Some consider it a medicine, and others say it is bad to eat it with coffee or alcohol. Still others consider it an aphrodisiac and state certain rules for it’s use. To read more, visit Wikipedia here: durian

I’m curious – Has anyone seen a durian or had experience with it?

 For more Wondrous Words Wednesday, visit Kathy at Bermuda Onion.

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17 Responses to Wondrous Words #147

  1. Beth Hoffman says:

    You know what? I recently saw a still-life painting that I loved, and it had a piece of cut fruit that left me baffled. Now I know! It was a durian! Thanks for solving the mystery.

  2. kaye says:

    I’ve never seen one (or smelled one) but I think this was the fruit mentioned in The Jewel Trader of Pegu. It almost looks like a hedgehog on a stem.

  3. We have a gourmet grocery that has all kinds of weird stuff – I’m going to stop by and check!

  4. I haven’t heard of durian before either. Interesting that it smells bad but tastes good – that doesn’t happen often. Thanks for sharing! My words are here.

  5. Barbara says:

    This sounds like something you need to approach like my mom said she would have to drink beer – holding her nose! She couldn’t stand the smell of it. :)

  6. Annie says:

    I saw them, years ago in Thaïland, but the smell was so fetid, I didn’t taste them ! As you can see I’m not too much courageous.

  7. I’ve never heard of or seen a durian. It’s quite beautiful but I doubt I could get past the smell.

  8. What an intriguing looking fruit. Makes you wonder who was the first to consider eating it, given those spines and a bad smell!

  9. Ann says:

    I saw something like this in Jamaica and I think it may have been called bread fruit. I wonder if it’s the same.
    Ann

  10. Susan says:

    Durian is a fruit I’ve never encountered before! Funny that it has a good flavor, but smells bad.

  11. Belle Wong says:

    I’ve always wanted to try one – although I’m not sure I would be able to stand its smell long enough to get close enough for a taste!

  12. Staci says:

    Thanks for the visual!! I am waiting for this book to come back to my library so that I can read it immediately!

  13. I read about this somewhere before. Can’t imagine eating something that smelled that terrible though, can you?

  14. Louise says:

    Margot I was extremely brave in Singapore 18 months ago and tried it. It does smell disgusting. It does taste disgusting. Definitely an acquired taste. I can only imagine that dried durian stinks as much as the fresh stuff. I did a blog post about it- and I see that you even commented on the post! I’m very keen to try Inside Out and Back Again.
    http://adventuresinalowgiworld.blogspot.com/2011/06/durian-is-low-gi-but-who-really-cares.html

  15. TheBookGirl says:

    I don’t have personal experience with this fruit, but I know about the horrible smell from others…

  16. kaye says:

    I had no idea

  17. Jake says:

    Will have to see if they have any at our Asian grocery store.

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