Post office evacuated and workers treated for durian exposure

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/24/post-office-evacuated-and-work.html

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At least it wasn’t an exploded can of surströmming

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I bought a durian once from a local asian supermarket. It had a pale yellow flesh, the texture and appearance of a raw chicken breast (but yellow, not pink).

It tasted like a delicate vanilla custard infused with a stench similar to a pulp mill. I choked down about 8 teaspoons and couldn’t stomach any more.

For the next 12 hours I burped up a taste akin to the odor of mineral spirits.

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This happened in Schweinfurt? Must’ve been really bad!
[giggle…snort…giggle] :pig:

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Eating Mangosteen with Durian will help balance the aftertaste. Also neutralizes the Ph, which can be an issue if you eat too much. As for the smell… I’m not sure there is anything that you can do to counter the aroma - it lasts for days.

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I’ve heard that eating frozen durian is much better.

But this all begs the question: if people are going out of their way to alleviate the taste and godawful odor, and there are other things to eat besides durians…

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I had a Singaporean coworker bring some durian to work one time. Within 60 seconds of opening the container, people showed up from down the hall looking for the gas leak. The smell isn’t quite the same as the rotten odor added to gas but similar and way stronger. The durian actually tasted pretty good once my nose had habituated enough that the smell didn’t make me retch anymore.

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And to think there are these prank mailing services where you send glitter or fake feces to someone you hate, when you can just give the gift of durian.

“What? I thought you’d like it!”

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I had a taste of a friend’s durian shake at an Asian mall in Vegas’ Chinatown (back when i lived out there), the taste was interesting. To me it was kind of reminiscent of unroasted peanuts, and the smell is like a bag of used diapers on a summer day and the smell is more akin to an alcoholic vapor. As you say i was burping up the durian vapor for the next hour or so and it was ever present when i was sipping it as well. Taste-wise i didn’t hate it though i was mostly neutral about it.

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I’ve had it as frozen chunks in vanilla ice cream. It was good, but I wouldn’t pick it as a favorite flavor.

I’ve also had it in sushi. Didn’t care for that although I think the number one thing I objected to was not the taste of the durian itself, but the way the durian dominated all the other flavors that were theoretically there. Of course, these were relatively small slivers, larger pieces could easily have bothered me more.

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Opened it indoors? How long did it take to get the smell out?

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Research buildings have to have good ventilation so the smell was only there for a few hours, but had I known I would have insisted he open it under the fume hood instead of in our shared office

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I’d only ever keep a durian in a fume hood.

The mercaptan-like smell is liable to make people think there’s a gas leak.

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I was told (Malaya) that eating it with your nose pinched improved the flavour no end, and in that mode it was the fruit of kings.

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My sister brought me to an amazing vegan mexican restaurant in Tuscan, AZ. Neither of us are vegan, she just claimed the food was extra good. All of their vegan “pulled pork” was durian that had been marinated and cooked to a consistency similar to slow-cooked pulled pork. It was indeed that good. No issues with smell in the restaurant, either.

On the other hand, I shop at asian markets on a regular basis and the durian/jackfruit smell is pretty terrible. You do wonder what is rotting until you spot it in the aisle.

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Jackfruit =|= durian! Jackfruit is what is used in things like ‘vegan carnitas’ and such. Jackfruit does not have the rotten onion diaper smell that durian does and is actually quite tasty. Yes, they may look similar, but are in fact, very different.

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I was in the Taipei airport at my gate waiting for a flight when two Filipino grannies pulled durian out of a purse for a snack. I was sitting directly across from them so I got the full experience. Everyone in the gate left and stood on the other side of the hallway except for me. I had a great seat and was too suborn to give it up. After 5-10 minutes I acclimated to it and it became less aggressively noticeable. The entire time they were eating the seemed to take no notice of the effect they had on the 100ish people at the gate but I’m pretty sure they were laughing on the inside.

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Salted fermented fish. Sounds like garum (popular sauce use by ancient Romans).

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To whom it may concern: Your application for employment as a spokesperson for durian products is greatly appreciated and has been carefully reviewed. Your application has been denied. Thank you.

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Ripe jackfruit has its own not necessarily pleasant smell, and unlike durian, one can smell it before the fruit is opened. Not at all as bad, but it’s there.

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