Raw Initiation

by Polly N on September 18, 2010

I bought my first Durian today! I bet you’re thinking, “What the hell is a durian?!” That was exactly my response a few months ago when I began venturing into the unknown world of raw food. Well there’s raw, and then there is RAW. The durian definitely falls into the latter. Raw food is easy, fun and quick. RAW food is all of that too, but it can take a little more effort with regards to sourcing the ingredients. However, with these special ingredients, you are rewarded with a whole host of mother nature’s finest properties.

So this is a picture of a durian. My very first durian!

The Durian is widely known and revered in Southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”. It possesses quite a few distinctive qualities such as it’s size, scent and thorn-covered husk. It  can grow as large as 30 cm long and 15 cm in diameter, and typically weighs between one and three kgs. It also has a very very unique scent! Yup it smells kind of funky! The shop assistant put it in a box for me but occasionally then while driving home, I’d get a whiff of what almost smells like – well actually I can’t even describe what it smells like! According to Wikipedia, the scent has been likened to gym socks, turpentine and rotten onions?!

I had originally gone in to the shop to see if they stocked kelp noodles which I need for a Pad Thai I am making tonight. I normally buy them online as they are hard to find but thought I’d pop in as I was passing. I suddenly spotted the durian and knew I had to have it. It cost me £20!! I know – not cheap! But I have seen and heard so much about it I knew I had to try it for myself. So once home, I then went about trying to open it. I grabbed a towel to save my hands from being ripped to shreds while trying to hold it in place. I cut into it, sawing it all the way round, said the magic words, “Open durian” and hey presto! It actually opened pretty easily! Here it is:

You eat the pods of flesh (bottom right of the picture above) which tastes kind of sweet. I couldn’t eat a lot of it as I think it could be quite sickly but I am determined to consume the whole thing, (not all in one go obviously) but now that I have gone to the trouble of buying it and opening it I want to to put it to good use!

What I’m really excited to discover about the durian is that it contains high concentrations of tryptophan which is an essential amino acid known to promote feel-good emotions. My grandma has just walked away with a pod of durian flesh to snack on. Oh god – she’s going to be bouncing off the walls! Let’s hope her little heart can cope otherwise I am going to be responsible for the demise of Mrs Dyer!! Better check on her later to make sure she’s not tripping….!

Now that I have tried it, I feel like I can officially be initiated as a “raw foodie”. It tasted okay – the smell was (and still is) slightly overwhelming but I’ve tried it and it’s really not too bad at all. Have I sold it to you yet? Thought not..

If you don’t fancy venturing into the world of durianism, (i just made that word up!) and fancy sticking with a Courgette Ribbon Salad or a delicious smoothie – then that’s okay!

This whole raw food “thing” can be daunting when you don’t know anything other than Lasagne, Steamed Salmon and veg or sandwiches – (you might be pleased to hear that I was once much the same!) By just changing a few small things in your diet, and adding in more whole foods, you can begin to gather the building blocks for healthier happier body and mind. A happy body =  a happy mind = a happy you!



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Katharine August 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I went to Malaysia last year and you could smell the durian’s as you drove down the road with the windows shut! In fact they are so smelly they are banned from public places. Anyhow, I did try one but it wasn’t for me at all, I did like mangosteens and rambutans though – have you tried either of them yet?


polly August 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Yup they STINK! No I havent tried mangosteens or rambutans – what are they like?


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