“Smells like hell, tastes like heaven.” So it is often quoted about the Durian, the so-called “King of Fruits.” I’ve never taken the slightest liking to it. Globs of pale yellow flesh looking like gangrenous, unidentifiable intestinal parts emitting the sickeningly sweet odor of rotting kitchen refuse. If the visual and nasal assault wasn’t enough, its texture — much like recycled, cheap buffet sushi gone several times through the freezing-thawing process — would do one in. Ugh.
As with most fruit on The islands, the Durian has also been warped and mutated into varieties of food products like candies, jams, pies and even ice cream. The PussyKat sent over a box of Durian Macarons from Carmen’s Garden Bistro all the way down from Durianlandia — Davao, Philippines. She knows of my revulsion to it but seems bent on my conversion. Dutifully, I promised a fair review.
I settled at the nearest Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf with the intent of pairing the fruit-flavored macaron with a Middle Eastern – African blend to compliment the flavor with the fruity notes of the coffee. The pastries came in beautiful little, muted gold, beveled boxes with a plastic window allowing a peek at the bright, turquoise meringue biscuits. No off-putting smell, to my surprise. The biscuit had a pleasant, soft crunch and was sparingly sweetened with no obvious indication of the incorporation of any Durian or its flavor. The Durian-crème filling held all the potency but was made bearable, even quite likeable in consideration of the other elements, with its limitation to a good dollop sandwiched between the delightful biscuits.
I surprised myself by downing two just at that sitting. PussyKat, I just might give the actual fruit another chance . . .
Durian Macarons are available at Carmen’s Garden Bistro, Quirino Avenue, Davao.