An achivement always feels better if I have worked hard for it. I spent hours digging, weeding and planting in my vegetable plot and end up really sweaty, stinky and hot. My reward is a cold shower followed by a Magnum (vanilla ice cream coated in chocolate in a stick) resting on the swing in the cool evening breeze. What has this got to do with the durian - a Malaysian fruit with menacing thorns? Well, if I can get to eat the fleshy fruits inside, it means someone had worked very hard trying to pry open the darn thing. I will be truthful, I have never opened a durian in my life. Being the first girl after 2 boys, the men in my family would take care of these "difficult" tasks. My task was to just scoop the fruits out with my fingers and enjoy them. There is no etiquette when eating durians - use your fingers.
Like every Malaysian, I love durians. The fruit is covered with hard sharp thorns. It splits along specific grooves that open up at the base once the fruits over ripens. Thus, to eat the durian when it tastes at its best, we have to hit the base with the cleaver and find the grooves before they open.
We use a large cleaver to widen the grooves,
and then both our hands to fully open the fruit.
The fruits with large seeds sit snugly along each groove. Even our dog waits patiently for his share.
Durians are considered "heatie," and one way of cooling the body after a large durian feast is drinking Coco Cola with a bit of salt added. That's our family tradition, others pour a little water into the grooves and drink from it. I swear by the Coco Cola and salt.
Everyone has had a thorny encounter with this King of the Fruits - a durian fell on my dad's toe when he was carrying the fruits to the kitchen, and in another incident MartianGirl really fell backwards onto a pile of durians during a party. Her poor bum looked like a pin cushion with red dots.