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Guess What I Just Ate!
We climbed a long time this evening. I climbed many wonderful things, including one spot where I'm not sure whether the move I tried actually worked or whether I found some kind of clipping error in the physics engine of reality.

It turns out that Z Pizza is not, in fact, open after 10:00 on weeknights. Pho Hoa, however, is, and has a perfectly acceptable vegetarian pho. It also has many interesting beverages, including salty plum soda and various fruit smoothies. The smoothie flavors include jackfruit, avocado, soursop, and (drumroll please) durian.

Of course I tried the durian smoothie. Andres says it smells (and tastes) like something out of the compost bin; I think it tastes rather garlicky, with a sort of fruit aftertaste as the garlic fades. The trick is not to inhale while you're putting it in your mouth. I probably won't order it again, but I'm glad I tried it and I finished the whole thing.

I'll have to try soursop next time; I'd never heard of it, but apparently it is in the same genus as the cherimoya, and the cherimoya is a most excellent fruit which I recently had the pleasure of sampling for the first time. Cherimoya is strongly reminiscent of jackfruit (also tasty), with a kind of banana-pineapple thing going on. I bet it makes great smoothies.
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Durian is now on my list of "foods I won't try again." I tried it three times, and each time I not only didn't like it, I didn't like eating for awhile after it.

The entirety of this list, within the category of "foods I might get served in a North American restaurant" is: durian, organ meats of any kind. Everything else I keep picking at to see if I like it now, even if I (pineapple! celery! coconut) totally don't.

Our local Malaysian restaurant has avocado smoothies, though, and those are surprisingly nice.

I keep trying mushrooms. It would be terribly convenient to like mushrooms, but they will persist in having that texture.

I like mushrooms, but I agree that they will have that texture whatever you do.

Well, if you blenderize them really thoroughly you can make cream of mushroom soup with flavor but no texture, so that works, but very few restaurants render their mushrooms into drinkable particles. Sometimes I can manually mince small enough to get nearly the same effect (e.g. Andres's dad's stuffed mushrooms, which were stuffed with Pure Tasty), but that's a lot of work.

I've very seldom met a westerner who likes durian. In fact, I expect most westerners to really dislike it.

Oh well. More for me.

I'd try the fruit proper if it were around, to see how it differs from the smoothie. But I probably won't go looking for it; there are tastier fruits in the world.

The waitress made sure I knew what it was when I ordered it. I'd say she expected me to dislike it too.

It belatedly occurs to me that I've been told durian is one of those things you either love or hate. Hah! I am neutral on it! Take that, binary division of the world.

Edited at 2011-04-14 04:32 pm (UTC)

Durian is super delicious. But Rachel thinks it smells like rotten, burned tires. I can't disagree, but it's so delicious I will eat it anyway.

Jackfruit has no bad qualities at all to overcome. It is proof of the benevolent nature of the universe, along with peaches and mangoes. Even jackfruit seeds are delicious in soups.

Interesting to learn about durian and about the other fruits. I thought it was wonderfully creamy when I had it, almost like ice cream at room temperature. Or like avocado but better.

My partner thinks I am weird, but not only for this reason.

Now that I know that durian and jackfruit are not the same (confused western girl was confused) I have a new fruit to try. Yay.

And yay for climbing adventures!! You looked very pleased with yourself.

ooops. that was inflectionpoint who forgot to log in.

Ooh, yes, jackfruit is super great. Also, if you like creamy, find a cherimoya. I got mine from the Milk Pail -- it was locally grown but really expensive. I may need to see if I can find a less costly source, because it was very tasty indeed.

Cherimoya is also known as "custard apple", if it helps your search.

Jackfruit is awesome. I am a big fan (although I haven't tried the seeds -- I guess I should look up some recipes for those next time).

Peaches are also good, when they're all the way ripe, but mangoes do something weird to my tummy. Apparently they have some kind of enzyme in them that can be used to tenderize meat; I might be sensitive to that.

I knew that was the case with papaya, but didn't know mango was the same way. But Google confirms it!

I did know that mangoes are in the same family as poison ivy, and some people react badly to mango skins. If you are okay with papayas but not mangoes, this might be an alternate reason for discomfort -- try getting someone else to cut and peel the mango for you.

I didn't know papaya did it too! I think I'm okay with papaya -- I usually don't eat more than a bite or two of it fresh, but it's pretty good dried. I discovered the mango reaction with mango lassi, so it's definitely not just the skins for me (sweet lassi, or lassi with other fruits, is fine, fortunately). A bite or two is okay, though. Maybe I should try dried mango, since dried papaya seems safe.

peaches and mangoes are amazing, but i don't care for jackfruit at all.

(okay, i'll soften that - i've had some nice jackfruit curry. i just don't care for the raw fruit)

That is okay. I will take your share of jackfruit and you can have my share of mangoes.

My dad loves durian. I enjoy watching the waitress's reaction when he orders it.

I must admit part of the appeal of trying some again is waving it at Andres to watch the recoil. I'm not used to other people having such strong reactions to food they're not eating.

You left out the part where I amended my initial statement about smelling like the compost bin to actually smelling exactly like beans that have been left in the refrigerator for way too long and have white slime growing on them. It think it may be an aerobic vs anaerobic decomposition distinction. Definitely triggers a this-is-horribly-rotten-do-not-eat-it instinct, though I assume carrion flies would find it irresistible.

Ha! Phoa Hoa is a traditional after-climbing dinner for us for just that reason!

I'd been wondering what nights you're there on, since we've been going Tuesday-Thursday and hadn't seen you yet. Now I know!

We usually go Wednesdays and Fridays, because those are the days I work from home and can therefore get started at a reasonable hour.

Ooh, jackfruit! I liked that one a lot when I visited Dad in Thailand last year. I was surprisingly disappointed by the mangoes--at home, I love mangoes, but in Thailand they just didn't taste right. (OTOH, a Thai man I talked with there said when he visited the US the mangoes didn't taste right, of course.)

I didn't try any actual durian, but I had a taste of durian-flavored ice cream. It was OK, though not nearly as good as the sweet tea ice cream.

I think there are a bunch of different mango cultivars, so depending on which ones grow in the region they might taste quite different.

Tea-flavored ice cream is good. I've only had green tea in ice cream, though -- was this a black tea-based flavor? I bet I'd like that quite a bit.

It was black tea-based, and I did like it very much! It was very much like Thai tea one would drink, with the black tea and the sweetening and the creaminess.

There was an ice cream booth we stopped at in one of the markets. Instead of selling the ice cream in scoops like I'm used to, they had ice cream frozen in sticks (about the size of sticks of butter) and they'd chop off slices for you. We got a sampler, one sticklet (about 1cm square by ~2.5cm long) of each of the 20 or so different flavors they had. The tea was my favorite. The only other flavors I specifically remember were chocolate and durian.

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