Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The King of Fruits

This article, a New York Times reporter's love letter to durian, was very interesting.  I had never realized that durian had such complex flavors.  The author makes it sound like wine tasting.

One point, however -- He mentions that many believe mangosteen is the perfect pairing for durian, but does not explain why.  This is very important to understand.  It is related to my point that in Asia, food is not just about good taste or mouth feel - it is always linked inextricably to health benefits, nutrients and beliefs about the body and the food itself.

Asians believe that durian is a very "hot" fruit, which stirs up huo qi or "fiery qi".  Durian is a male fruit.  Mangosteen is a very "cold" fruit, which cools down the qi.  It is a female fruit.  Just like the elements of yin and yang, female and male, so Asians believe that mangosteen and durian complement each other perfectly.

I love fruit, practically every single kind of fruit, but I have to confess that durian does not fall in my favored camp.  I can stomach it in small doses, or in ice cream, desserts, or cooked in dim sum.  Otherwise, I usually stay away.  I probably never tasted the complex layers of hazelnut, apricot, or creme brûlée because I was busy holding my breath!

No comments:

Post a Comment