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Fumes and smells, part 2


A walk around the ‘MBK Food Center’ is a touch offputting. Among all the other sweet and savoury aromas on offer is a smell that, to me, reeks of chicken gone slightly off. This does not inspire confidence in the freshness of the food.

But freshness probably has nothing to do with it. I smelt it in the Tokyu department store too. It is the putrid smell of Thailand’s most highly-prized fruit, the durian, which is just coming into season. Some compare it to a ripe cheese. Alfred Russel Wallace compared it to custard flavoured with almonds; perhaps he was sniffing a different kind of durian. In any case, even Thais find the stink offensive, and carrying them on public transport or into hotels is not allowed.

I tried some a couple of days ago with some sweet sticky rice. The flavour was sweet and savoury, the sweetness probably coming from the rice. A taste yet to be acquired. The brain says 'this is fruit' but the visceral signals ('no, it's old carrion') dominate. I’ll try to give it another go or two.

Posted by Wardsan 09:10 Archived in Thailand

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