That's right. Me. A PRO.
How, you ask?
Because now I get PAID. Pizzaid. P to the A to the I to the D, people. Or I got paid once. To eat something gross. That I was then going to blog about. So this makes me a professional.
Shut up. Yes it does.
See? Me holding my PAY.
Why? What? How? Who? Let me 'splain.
Elizabeth and BK had a brunch this past Sunday. It was a pretty simple one with a bring-some-yummies-and-let's-watch-a-movie theme. I brought bacon, chive and cheddar corn muffins. They were spectacular, holy moly were they good. But ANYWAY - Elizabeth and I have been talking about buying a Durian fruit from the Asian Market (red roof on central) and cracking that baby open to see what the fuss was all about. We have read that they are stinky and gross and nasty. Anthony Bourdain noted that "Its taste can only be described as...indescribable, something you will either love or despise. ...Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother." Thanks Anthony.
So - E and BK bought one. It's a spiky pine cone thing that never in your right mind would you want to buy unless you eat danger for breakfast. Which we do. It was partially frozen so we didn't really smell any particularly bad odors eminating from it. Previously we had read a LOT about the smell with people using words like "garbage" and "ass" to describe it. I thought it smelled fruity. I found out later this was because the deep freeze kept the smell in. Because of this knowledge I will now freeze my summer flip flops from now on to spare the noses that enter my house via the "shoe hallway".
Moving on. Finding a seam to open this thing is apparently the way to go after we You Tubed how to split Sharpie the Hedgehog open. So Elizabeth went to work seam opening and tearing.
We were getting a little more scent, and some noticed that it was pretty bad down by the stem of it. This was probably because it was the most thawed. Once we opened a "pod" we pulled out the fruit and went to work on the other pods to get all the fruit we could. I say "we" but really I mean Elizabeth and BK. And there was even an injury! BLOOD ON THE DURIAN!
The stuff was still frozen but we could see a hint of what people meant when they said the texture is "pudding-like".
Go ahead. You can say it. It looks like partially melted old lady fat globules. It literally looked like it came out of the garbage can of a plastic surgeon's office. (Yes, some Fight Club comments were made.) Most people at this point were pretty unhappy - it looked not nice and smelled not nicer. And of course I was voted first to try it. Here's a side view complete with double chin action:
It wasn't bad at all. But it was a small piece and still a little frozen. So we went around the table and everyone tried it. Some gagging, not able to get it down and some really not making a big deal out of it. One of the guests was very affected by the smell and refused to try it, but this is where I become a WORLD FAMOUS PAYED BLOGGER/REPORTER. Because she told me she would give me a twenty if I ate a really big piece. I think she said it jokingly at first but I jumped at it. I like money. So I took her up on her offer and speared me a big ole' chunk. What you see below this is the actual part I consumed (the size was approved by the group).
Here's me choking it down:
At this point I was just concentrating on keeping the chunk down. I was thinking about pleasant things, like what I was going to spend my twenty on (ice cream ice cream ice cream). And - really...it is the texture that is the thing. It is very strange. And I can see people really being grossed out by it. But the taste - it is fruity, kind of like very overripe fruit and a tang of nuttiness after you swallow.
I will say honestly I do not think I will have it in its natural form again, but I can see why people eat the ice cream versions of it which would remove the texture issue completely. It was difficult to open, and really - if I want to work at opening a fruit it better taste pretty amazing. I mean, look at pineapple. A good pineapple is a joy forever! And it is WAY less challenging to open than the Durian was.
Glad I did it? Heck yes. Glad I got payed for it? ABSOLUTELY! I look forward to trying many new things to eat and getting paid for them in the future.
Soooo...this is Nicole K, Professional Food Blogger, signing off... Feel free to email me if you want to write me a check to try some marinated monkey eyeballs or something.