Nature's smelliest fruit may also be its tastiest: the durian.
Resembling a cross between an armadillo and a pineapple, this tree fruit from Southeast Asia might smell like onion and gasoline, but its silky flesh tastes like coconut custard. Even skeptics fall in love.
Minding the durian's extravagant aromatics, is it any wonder that a garage winemaker we know is making durian wine? We just hope the craft beer movement picks up this scent trail. A "durian dubbel," perhaps?
While a thin thread of urban lore says durian is dangerous if consumed with alcohol, we drink with durian regularly and we're still kicking. A fruity Riesling does nicely.
Durians reportedly taste spectacular straight off the tree, and even
come running when a ripe one hits the ground. In the States, the best we can get is jet-fresh durian for about $50 a fruit at specialty Asian supermarkets, though frozen durians run about $10 each.
Loved or hated, a durian is a sure smash hit at any potluck party. Slice open its bottom end and tear the beast apart; the crowds are guaranteed to gather. You might use the flesh in ice cream, crepes, smoothies or other recipes, but we prefer doing like the tiger and digging in.