Hello to you fine People,
Once again, I am taking you all with me on my travels. Andre and I packed up and went to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia (Sept 13 and 14th). Just a trip to get away for a bit, plus, his fascination for Land Rovers "Landies" as Andre calls them drove us up about 1100 meters. The British used to have them assembled in that region and upon their departure left quite a number of the vehicles behind, thus explains the great number of very old Landies (not to mention state regulation in regards to taxes makes them very affordable and desirable). Malaysia is also known for its local fruit, the DURIAN. Famous for its awful smell, but supposedly very sweet taste and creamy texture...I shall share my experience with you fine people... Let's start our journey, shall we (remember to click on the pictures for larger view:
The local water supply:
Buying Local Fruit: local sweet bananas. Note the round fruit hanging there are mountain mangosteen... He gave me one to taste, unfortunately I don't have pictures of that, but they are really really tasty (if you don't bite down, grind up the seed and swallow that, which, apparently tastes bitter according to Andre..LOL)
MORE LOCAL STUFF:
|The famous "Landies"|
The Highlands are known for their tea plantations:
The pictures do not show what an awesome view this all actually was. Incredible and well worth seeing.
The Local Food:
|YUP.. even a Starbucks for those spoiled western trekkers... well, and me :-)|
AND NOW.... I PRESENT TO YOU THE DURIAN:
I spoke with this nice lady, a local, who told me that one must have a taste of this delicious fruit. Never mind the smell, she said, it makes this fruit extra special. Her husband bought a Durian and invited Andre and me to have a taste. In a split second he quartered the fruit and exposed the innards... I cannot tell you how bad it smells, even when outside with fresh air. The lady said that the smell of one Durian in a home will only linger for 3 days and then will lose its odor... I am not so sure if the fruit loses its smell or if it actually takes that long for our receptors to get used to it.. I asked her what else the locals do with the fruit and to my surprise they cook with it. They add chilli peppers and chicken, for instance. The lady spoke with such passion of this smelly local fruit that I could not resist tasting it (not to mention that her husband strongly insisted)... I tasted it fearfully, I admit... so here i go...
You peel the fleshy part out of the quartered Durian shell... touching it feels like a raw chicken breast without the slimy membrane.. as you hold it and apply some slight pressure, it gets somewhat sticky. It has a large seed inside, so you don't bite down, but gently pull the fleshy, creamy part away from the seed with your teeth. The texture is creamy but somewhat like a very thick custard... it is really sweet (not overwhelmingly though!!!). You cannot chew it, but rather spread it with your tongue to make its way down to your throat... this leaves a film/residue on your tongue and gums which stays for a while before it's broken down, but then comes the bad aftertaste... to me, that's when the fruit tasted like it smelled... that aftertaste... Perhaps one needs to quickly use a liquid to drink that cleanses your mouth without destroying the sweet taste one experiences with the first bite.
On the way back down: Leaving you with more of my local impressions:
|I just thought that was funny :-)|