There’s a fruit that’s simultaneously famous and infamous. Some people love it, some people hate it. It’s called durian.
It’s popular here in the Philippines, and it reeks. It has such a pungent odor that it fills the stores that cut them up. Even though the fruits are wrapped after being cut, you can still smell it. Even in the warehouse store where the ceilings are sky high and air movement is great, you can still smell them when they’re near.
Yesterday someone gave me some durian candy to try. Even though the smell is horrible, many people love the taste. I’ve been avoiding durian for over eleven months, but I thought, “if there’s a way to try it, this is it.” So I took a small bite of the candy; just enough to taste it. And I didn’t like it. I thought it tasted a bit oniony, and like that horrible smell in the grocery stores that used to make me gag.
I was happy that I was done tasting durian. I felt satisfied that I’d done it, but I had no desire to taste it, in any form, again.
I’m currently in the process of making dinner for tonight. I’m making chicken tortilla soup, and I was going to make a salad (which I can’t make because the store didn’t have enough beans for the soup, let alone a salad on the side), and guacamole. I also bought mangos for John and our friend to enjoy (I don’t like mangos either).
I bought local avocados at S&R to save on cost. We had tomatoes and I had my helper go out later and buy red onions and look for jalapenos (no dice – they’re rare here). After my soup looked deliciously glorious and was simmering I started in on the guacamole. I did the tomatoes and the onions in the little food processor and mashed the guacamole (2 out of 3 avocados were good – woot!), mixed them together, added salt and lemon juice (also – limes aren’t common here, sigh. it’s not a great post for making Tex-Mex) and tried it on a home made corn tortilla (found only at the restaurant El Chupicabra near Makati Ave and Kalayaan) chip that I just had finished for the soup.
And it didn’t taste right. It tasted rather funny. I thought, maybe it needed more onion. I couldn’t taste it at all. There was a powerful taste that I couldn’t place that I thought must be the avocado because I hadn’t had local avocados here before and every other ingredient tastes “normal” to me when I cook with them. I added more red onion, salt and lemon and tasted it again.
And then it hit me. It tasted like durian. And I was sad. Not to the point of tears, but close. If my kitchen hadn’t been full with three helpers and four kids, I might have cried. I’d been looking forward to guacamole all day. I love guacamole. I love Tex-Mex in general, but I especially love guacamole. The fact that I haven’t had it in almost a year is depressing.
I hope that it’s the local avocados. I hope that if I want to splurge on the imported ones from America I will find the taste I’m looking for. I really, really, really hope that I can have some good guacamole soon. Because this durian flavored guacamole will not fly in this house.