The world’s most noxious fruit has long had a reputation amongst backpackers through Southeast Asia for its foul stench and for many trying it out is a rite of passage, albeit often an unpleasant one. The taste is an acquired one, to say the least, but if you find you’re missing it, Melbourne is hosting its very own durian festival in March.
The Durian Feast is now in its second year and is looking to feed a thousand people on 10 March in the Docklands area of the city. There will be all-you-can-eat durian barbeque, durian cake and fresh durian and once you’ve had your fill of the prickly fruit, there will be other varieties of barbeque and tropical fruit to try, most with a distinctly Chinese flavour.
There will be four separate sittings on the day and ticket prices range from A$89 to $99. In the morning, your meal will be accompanied by a traditional Chinese performance, the two afternoon shows will be family-friendly with a DJ and kids performances and curiously included in the 7 pm sitting will be a “sexy lingerie show”, perhaps because the durian is sometimes considered an aphrodisiac.
The organisers told Lonely Planet News: “Last year’s durian feast was a great success and around 800 people attended, that’s why we are hosting for this year as well.” They are also organising a costumed boat party for 30 March to coincide with the Easter holidays. You can find information on how to book online.
Most people find the durian fruit too pungent for their taste but a minority of people love it, calling the taste nutty and with an after taste similar to onions or cheese. If you’re visiting South East Asia soon, you can check out this Lonely Planet guide to everything you need to know about durian.