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Is that the smell of Durian?

When you visit Singapore you’ll notice a heap of little markets and fruit stalls full of amazing tropical fruits from Thailand and Malaysia.

There are fabulous fruits such as dragon fruit, rambutans and lychees.

Then there’s the one that assaults your nostrils as you approach.

The durian is a large fruit that smells dreadful. You’re not allowed to take it on the public transport system. Many buildings ban it.

And yet, many people swear it’s their favourite fruit in the world.

Durian Stalls

To get around the problem of not being able to transport durian home, people eat it (wearing gloves) at special durian stalls.

The first stall we found had big signs up saying ‘sold out’. There was some pre-ordered durian stored in a fridge, guarded by shopkeepers who were fighting off the people that wanted desperately to buy it.

The next time we came across durian was when our local shopkeeper said she’d have some on Thursday. I went at the end of the day but apparently it was all gone by lunchtime.

Finally, I came across a durian stall in Chinatown with several varieties to try.

Durian tastes pretty weird

I had trouble getting past the texture of durian. It had no structure; it was paste-like, as if it had gone bad.

I found it helped if I didn’t breathe while I was eating it, otherwise it really was like eating spew-flavoured custard.

It was kind of interesting and I’m glad I had it but I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Other people reckon it grows on you.

The best fruit of them all

By far my favourite fruit in Singapore was the langsat, also known as luku-langsat, duku-langsat, lanzones and longkong.

It’s a small fruit with a thin skin that needs to be removed. Inside are about 5 segments of differing sizes. The big segments contain a bitter tasting green seed. The taste is similar in some ways to grapefruit, but it’s very sweet so there’s a delightful sweet and sour thing going on.

The amazing thing about langsat is the texture. It’s jelly-like, similar to the confectionary we know as ‘jelly babies’.

I stuffed myself with bags and bags of this fruit.

If you visit Singapore, eat as many as you can. Instagram a photo and tag me in it!

@cathwood1000

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(Updated 17/10/18)

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Chinatown in Singapore

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