If you've ever walked into your local Asian grocer and gasped for air, just wait until you get up close to a durian. Also known as "stink fruit," this exotic import can have an odor so offensive it's actually banned from most public places in Southeast-Asia, including hospitals, buses, trains and hotels.
- A Fruit so Stinky, It's Illegal
Even so, Clean Plate Charlie was intrigued enough to sample some fresh, cut straight from the spiked seed pod that resembles a giant pinecone on steroids. Eating it wasn't the hard part -- finding one was.
A seasonal fruit, durian are most readily available in the summer. We found ours at New Oriental Market in West Palm Beach where they have been selling last season's fruit for the past several months. Many purveyors will freeze the late harvest, the store owner tells us, and will thaw them before putting them out for sale. If you can't find the whole fruit, don't worry. It's likely many will carry frozen durian meat out of the pod, which is guaranteed to be just as stinky.