Point is...things change, tastes change, palettes evolve. Though my list of food dislikes is pretty short, I make it a point to revisit anything I've deemed heinous periodically, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.
Durian's a tough one. Like many food obstacles, this one's rooted in childhood--an unforgettably wretched afternoon in Bangkok involving a long van ride with no air conditioning and a spiky rank-a** backseat companion.
You don't get to cry about the smell until you've faced down a fresh specimen--and if you aren't somewhere in or near Southeast Asia, you're not going to get to (the ones in markets stateside are previously frozen and thawed).
Momma Foodie loves the stuff (as did our gracious Thai hostess, to whom we were ferreting the fetid thing in the first place).
Roadkill perfume aside, the fruit itself is intimidating; once you crack open this heavy, barbed bomb, the innards are creamy, yellow, stringy--much more evocative of something animal or alien than plant.
Fresh or frozen, I wasn't feeling that ambitious...my latest encounter with this foul nemesis was in cookie-form.
I've been a fan of Garden Wafers since I was a kid--styrofoamy, trans-fatty and sweet, what's not to love? They came in tons of flavors--vanilla, coconut, lemon, peanut, taro--but I preferred the Pepto-pink Strawberry variety.
The Man and I were happy rooting around in Kam Sen, a Chinese supermarket in White Plains, when I passed the mass of Garden Wafers in the sweets aisle. I have eyed the olive-green package of the durian-flavored wafers over the years, but only to crinkle my nose and move on.
I am older! Tougher! The time had come for me to approach the king of fruits, if only in bantamweight wafer form.
Flipping the package over..."artificial flavor". Faux-funk! How bad could it be?
And squalled. And almost dropped the package. FAUGH!!!!
It was nowhere near as intense as the real deal, but impressively nasty and pervasive. How could something so denatured be so appallingly authentic?
Don't be such a puss, you weak American crybaby! It's just FN cookies!!
The Man watched from a safe distance, goggle-eyed, covering his nose as I bit into the crispy wafer and chewed.
Tastes like...(taking another bite, just to be sure)...
...yep. Festering garbage. Like banana and stinky runny cheese blended together and left to ferment in the blistering bloody sun. In sweetened wafer form.
I went for a third bite, but it didn't take. I sealed the rest of the wafers in a baggie, tossed said baggie in the trash, and brushed my teeth. I had some chocolate. I had some scotch. The taste of rotting eggs wouldn't go away, and I could smell the cookies wrapped in the depths of my trash can.
Total defeat. Durian/Durian Duplicated Products: 1, EF: 0.