The Durian Express
On the road…again!!!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
The Durian Express
On the road again…!!! is an appropriate place to be when the mission is all about the Durian Express. You see, the durian fruit grown in SE Asia and marketed in some key American cities where durian lovers congregate is always a treat when its spiny exterior is split open for the enjoyment of fruit lovers. But the durian is so pungent that even that TV omnivore by the name of Anthony Zimmern stopped short of actually putting it in his mouth. He had a point. And his nose that told him that ripe durian has the odor of four-day old sweat socks. But there are others who grew up with its pungency and are not easily turned off.
When Brother Giang comes to visit us in Virginia, he sometimes starts his journey from the suburbs of Baltimore and first heads north to the Eden Market in Alexandria, Virginia to pick up roast pork, duck, rambutan, long an, and durian for the feast that will follow. We family members who anticipate his arrival can only guess what he will be packing, but we know it will not be limited to exotic tropical fruit. He regularly brings the wine; not just a bottle or two but a half-case of his mélange of the month: chardonnay, chianti, cabernet sauvignon, etc. Sometimes he brings box wines. Without the photo evidence, we tend to forget how generous he is.
One past mélange of wines contained Malbec, Garnet Red Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc
As the bones of roast duck and pork ribs pile up; as the rambutan and the long an shells blend in their mild pungency to the pile of waste mounding up in the garbage bin outside, it is the odor of the durian that makes the trip to the community trash dump so imperative. Hence the Durian Express expedition is quickly set into motion. Its logistical mandate states that the cargo must be transported within a tightly sealed heavy-duty trash bag in the back of our workhorse Subaru, air conditioner running to force the gases out all of the open windows. And the Durian Express should be dispatched at great haste, to minimize the exposure of the captive crew to the putrid air during transit. Ah, the essence of sweaty socks for the entire trip to the dump! The price of a sumptuous feast polished off with the creamy lusciousness of fresh durian.