During a recent trip to Suzhou, China, the Foodbeast crew had the unique pleasure of trying out some relatively uncommon pizza toppings at the local Pizza Hut. And by uncommon we mean stuff that’s truly unheard of: think durian and Peking duck serving as the tasty toppings on your pie.
The durian pizza alone already has enough wow factor by itself, being that the fruit is arguably the most polarizing out there with its notorious stench yet lauded flavor. What we experienced was a ‘za unlike any other with the durian providing a creamy, oniony essence and treating us to a particular and distinct flavor that we wholly enjoyed.
Peep the full experience in the video above to see just how singular this encounter really was inside this Chinese Pizza Hut. And for the curious, both items are regular staples on the Pizza Hut menu, so feel free to trek out and try them!
They say, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” but it turns out we also can’t judge a fruit by its peel or a veggie by its skin. In our unpredictable, often chaotic world, our food has become equally as erratic and mercurial.
For better or for worse, what you see is not always what you get. A grape can now be evocative of your favorite carnival treat and even seemingly standard produce can taste like your go-to breakfast staple.
And while this volatility may sound frightening, these surprising flavors shouldn’t spur concern. Only when cake starts tasting like kale, and bacon like quinoa should we really start to worry.
Grape news! Though grapes are one of the more benign fruits, able to satiate even the pickiest of eaters, you can now find ones that taste like your favorite festival fair. “Cotton Candy Grapes” are now a thing thanks to horticulturalist, David Cain. Without genetic engineering or artificial flavors, Cain created this new strain of grape simply by classic plant breeding. His aim was originally to restore the “natural flavors” of grapes that often get removed in the shipping and storage process. The result? A fruit that your mom would approve of while delighting the sugar crazy child inside of you.
William Shakespeare once wrote, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Scholars may disagree, but when it comes to the opening of this avowal it seems pretty obvious to me he was referring to the Blue Java Banana. Produced organically from nature, without any interference whatsoever, blue java bananas somehow taste like ice cream. Aptly known as the “ice cream banana” these fruits possess a natural vanilla flavor and a creamy, fluffy texture. Now I’m not saying they rival the delicious artificiality of real ice cream, but as far as bananas go, they’re pretty darn good.
Now these are berry special. While pineberries may simply appear to be typical red strawberries who look like they’ve just seen a ghost, they’re actually a crossbreed that boast a tart flavor reminiscent of pineapples. These frosty fruits, like a celebrity marriage or biweekly paycheck, aren’t available for long. Pineberries have a very short season compared to their crimson counterparts, so if you enjoy their citrus flavor, you should probably buy these baffling berries in bulk. Say that five times fast.
Jamaican me crazy, ackee fruit. A breakfast staple of the Caribbean country, ackee looks like a bug eyed video game character, but tastes like scrambled eggs. When cooked, the tropical fruit has a creamy, delicate texture that not only tastes like your go-to breakfast but looks like it, too. Ackee served with saltfish is actually Jamaica’s national dish and is basically the Caribbean version of lox and eggs.
Have you tried “flavor tripping?” All the cool kids are doin’ it. Though this practice may sound like the latest teen faux drug craze like beezin’ or dusting, it’s actually driven by eating a harmless berry. “Miracle berries” of the Synsepalum dulcificum plant, mostly found in West Africa, contain a protein that temporarily numbs the taste buds. When eaten (or taken in pill form), foods that are tart or savory are instead experienced as strangely sweet. Some foods that have produced some of the most extreme reactions to these miracle berries include lemons, beer, and even chilli peppers.
More polarizing than the ending of How I Met Your Mother, black licorice has been tearing loved ones apart practically since its inception. If you find that the “candy” is a point of contention in your household, try eating fennel instead! Reminiscent of celery, fennel is a root vegetable that tastes like black licorice. Bitter, sweet, and salty all at the same time, fennel may just be the new black (licorice).
A post shared by Brandi Smith (@myveganbodymytemple) on
From puppies to sunshine to Forest Gump, only a few things in this world are universally adored, but none so much as BBQ. Even vegetarians salivate at the sight of pulled pork, and thanks to the jackfruit, these omnivorous creatures can now enjoy the barbecue favorite without sacrificing their ~green~ lifestyle. Native to South and Southeast Asia, the jackfruit is the largest tree-born fruit in the world and, when cooked, looks and tastes like pulled pork. The fruit can weigh between 10 and 100 pounds, so be sure to pace yourself and have extra BBQ sauce handy.
There’s no other way to put it except that black sapote is proof of a higher power. A green fruit that looks mediocre at best, yet when sliced open reveals a deep brown color that has the consistency and taste of chocolate pudding. Maybe that’s why this species of persimmon is also known as the chocolate pudding fruit. Though it’s possible (and delicious) to scoop the tropical Central American and Caribbean fruit from its skin and eat it right then and there, there are countless innovative recipes that use black sapote as a chocolate alternative. Read: chocolate cakes and meringue pies. You. Are. Welcome.
It’s widely known that it’s not easy being green, but it’s made that much harder when you’re both green and reek of old gym socks. Most prominent in Southeast Asia, Durian is a spiky, peculiar looking fruit that smells like rotten onions but tastes like ice cream. Despite its pungent odor, the citizens of Southeast Asia have deemed Durian “king of fruits” due to its sweet, almond-like flavor. Apparently Durian’s stank is worth the taste, but I’d still recommend plugging your nose to fully enjoy it.
~Officially~ know as Acmella Oleracea, electric daisies are a strange flower that when eaten, leave your mouth slightly tingly and anaesthetised for up to 15 minutes. Oh, and it also smells like a chocolatey mint. When consumed raw, electric daisies initially taste more or less how you think they would (grassy and earthy) but can be included in a number of clever recipes. Electric daisies takin’ ‘flower power’ to the next level.
We’ve all had to eat something that we didn’t find appealing. Yet, to hide disgust, we smile and nod, using every bit of energy to act like we’re not about to vomit.
No matter how many times you’ve channeled your inner Ben Stiller from Along Came Polly, when faced with ingesting something that isn’t a part of your normal diet, it’s still hilarious watching someone else turn pale and squirm when having to forcefully swallow their worst food nightmare.
With that said, it’s even funnier when TV hosts find themselves face-to-face with their greatest food phobias on camera, but have nowhere to run, because the show must go on. So, let’s take a moment to watch all the times TV hosts actually didn’t like what they ate on camera.
Global New’s Artichoke Dip
The cast of the Canadian news program, Global News, got a taste of a holiday treat gone wrong, when news anchor Leslie Horton brought in an admittedly bad batch of homemade artichoke dip. However, in this YouTube clip uploaded by Global News, instead of dropping it off in the break room, Leslie decided to torture her colleagues by having them try it on air.
Bear Grylls Larva
When it comes to blindly trekking into the wilderness, Bear Grylls is a jack of all trades. Grylls can find food in any environment. To demonstrate this, this YouTube clip shows us that not all the sustenance Bear comes across is tasty. After finding a large larva worm hiding under some tree bark he explained that these type of bugs, “contain more protein than beef and fish,” pound for pound. Unfortunately, after chewing it, Bear admitted the larva was, “one of the worse things” he’d ever eaten.
James Corden’s Cod Sperm
If you’ve ever watched The Late Late Show with James Corden, then you might be familiar with the game, “Spill your guts or Fill Your Guts,” a Truth or Dare style game that requires the contestants to answer a personal question or eat something unsavory and repulsive, like a bull penis or fish eyes. In this YouTube clip, uploaded to the Late Late Show’s channel, Kendall Jenner gave James Corden the option to answer which one of his parents he prefered or eat cod sperm. However, Corden’s parents were actually in the audience, so being the great son that he is, he kept his mouth shut, and reluctantly swallowed the cod sperm.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Durian Fruit
When Jimmy Kimmel invited Jessica Chastain on to the ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, she brought him an unexpected gift. In this clip, uploaded to the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel, Jimmy tries durian, which is known to be the worst smelling fruit known to man. It’s safe to assume that after being told that durian is sometimes called, “the bleu cheese of fruit,” Jimmy had second thoughts about inviting her back.
Gordon Ramsay’s Hottest Curry Ever
Gordon Ramsay knows how to heat up a kitchen. When he’s not screaming obscenities at Hell’s Kitchen contestants, he’s usually cooking up something delicious. Well, you could say the tables turned when Ramsay had the opportunity to try the hottest curry in the world. In this clip, uploaded to Ramsay’s YouTube channel, Ramsay was the one taking the heat. “That’s disgusting,” he said. “That’s the hottest thing I’ve ever tasted.”
Anderson Cooper turns pale
During an episode of Anderson Cooper Live, the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods,” host Andrew Zimmern did a segment on some really exotic foods, that basically just grossed Cooper out. Some of these items were some of the most left field Zimmern had encountered during his time traveling abroad, including fermented soy beans, webbed goose feet, and a cheese made from pig head. Even though Anderson was a good sport and tasted the items, he immediately spit out his small nibbles.
Kelly Ripa literally runs away from food
During an episode of the morning talk show Live Kelly and Ryan, host Kelly Ripa literally runs away from John Leguizamo and Andrew Zimmern, while yelling, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” To her credit, Kelly’s antics were so extra, both Zimmern and Leguizamo stopped trying to convince her.
Zimmern vs. Durian
For a man that is willing to eat anything, regardless of taste, texture or smell, Andrew Zimmern drew the line at durian fruit. A fruit native to Asiathat’s well-known for it’s spiny exterior shell, and very foul odor, durian is an acquired taste. In this clip, Zimmern finally meets his match as he eats a chunk of fresh durian. Still, despite his cultured palate, the Bizarre Foods mastercouldn’t handle the durian and spit it out within seconds.
Anthony Bourdain and Anderson Cooper eat Tripe
Tripe is from the stomach lining of a cow. While the dish might not sound the most appetizing, it’s an exotic animal part used by multiple cultures. If you’re going to eat tripe for the first time, make sure it’s with the the Vincent Van Gogh of culinary philosophy, Anthony Bourdain.
Every country has an odd snack that is loved by locals, but might disgust the rest of the world. Stinky tofu is one of Taiwan’s favorite traditional snacks, and one thing is certain — it stinks. On a trip to Taiwan, Andrew Zimmern took on the foul smelling treat without any hesitation. However, it’s safe to assume that even the bravest souls might have a tough time swallowing thick, putrid, rotting tofu. You are a brave man, Mr. Zimmern.
Durian is without a doubt one of the most well-known fruits in the world. People prize it for its amazing flavor, though its notorious for its stench that can stink up entire subway trains. While we love comparing the aroma and taste of this fruit, it’s hard to understand why it’s so odoriferous.
Luckily, the American Chemical Society (ACS) is here to help us understand the science behind this pungent produce. Their latest video to the ACS’s YouTube channel, Reactions, breaks down why durian has such a strong and unpleasant odor. This includes talking about the specific chemicals responsible for the fruit’s overall aroma profile. Additionally, the ACS talks about why durian’s stench is so strong and persistent, especially for humans. There’s also a discussion as to why some people can tolerate the smell more than others.
Overall, the ACS is aiming to sharpen your understanding of the fruit and sensory science by breaking down durian’s aroma. Hopefully, after you watch the video, you’ll be able to better comprehend what’s really going on when you smell durian. Perhaps you’ll even want to try some of the fruit for yourself, if you haven’t already. The fragrance may be unbearable to you at first, but trust me, the actual fruit is absolutely delicious.
Compared to the rest of the world, Americans can be a very unadventurous bunch when it comes to food. We turn our noses up at raw fish, squeal like girls at fertilized duck eggs, even get a little queasy when our steaks are undercooked. Still, times are a-changing, and if we can come to embrace kale and chia seeds as a food group, then by golly, crocodile ice cream should garner at least some attention.
Picky eaters and conservationists needn’t worry too much though, since the treat doesn’t actually contain any crocodile meat. Available at the Sweet Spot ice cream shop at the Davao Crocodile Park in the Philippines, the not-so-scaly confection simply trades out traditional unfertilized chicken eggs for crocodile ones. Because it can.
Says shop owner Bianca Dizon, “You can really taste the difference and realize how the crocodile egg yolks enhance the texture of the ice cream. It’s so smooth and creamy.” Currently available in three different flavors: crocodile durian (a smelly, spiky custard-like fruit), crocodile pandan (a fragrant green leaf used as a wrap in several Asian cuisines), and crocodile dragon fruit (a mild, pink, kiwi-like fruit), it’s also probably the best way to close out a long, hot day at the zoo. Well, assuming mama croc won’t be able to smell her almost-offspring anyway.
McDonalds is fusing traditional asian flavors with american desserts once again, this time by adding a Black Sesame McFlurry to their menu. The new McFlurry is sure to taste significantly better than it’s rotting fruit counterpart, aka the Durian Crunch McFlurry, as black sesame is known for it’s nutty flavor and not for smelling like something died. No offense durians.
Available for a limited time the new dessert is composed up of vanilla soft serve mixed with black sesame and topped with crunchy cereal. The dessert sells for $2.80 SG ($2.25 USD) and is exclusively available at dessert kiosks in Singapore.
U.S. based black sesame lovers can recreate this sweet treat themselves at their local Yogurtland where the chain is offering Black Sesame Vanilla as part of their menu. Might we suggest using some Cap’n Crunch as a substitute for the crunchy cereal?
You’ve heard about it. You might have wondered if you’d be brave enough to try it. Maybe you’ve even gotten close — wandering around a foreign market place, buzzing on life and, admittedly, those free beers you scored from some fellow backpackers – before you decided that nope, nuh-uh, your nose just can’t take it, no durian for you.
It’s understandable. Some of us just have stronger gag reflexes than others, which is why it’s recommended that most newbies take baby steps into the stinky, delicious world of the “King of Fruits,” either by snacking on durian candy or Durian McFlurries, or now, by knocking back a cold glass of durian wine.
TIME Newsfeed reports that a team of researchers at the National University of Singapore’s Food Science and Technology Programme has just developed a clear, 6% ABV durian wine and is currently looking for commercial distribution partners. Supposedly the fermentation results in a much milder, much less stinky rendition of the infamous fruit with a lower amount of sulphur compounds – previously believed to cause cardiac arrest when consumed with alcohol.
Considering we already have such monstrosities as beard hair beer, it’s not too crazy to think durian wine could be our next big hype-drink, now is it? Come all ye self-proclaimed “foodists,” get ‘em before they’re cool.
It’s known as the “King of Fruits,” which is perfectly fitting, supposing the kingdom in question just happens to be a pointy sewer. Both loved and loathed all over Southeast Asia, the durian is a large, porcupine-looking fruit whose smell has been described simultaneously as “almonds, rotten onions, turpentine” and “raw sewage,” according to Wikipedia. It also happens to be McDonald’s Singapore’s newest limited time McFlurry flavor, for . . . reasons.
Available at all McDonald’s Singapore dessert kiosks (because apparently they have kiosks in addition to actual restaurants over there), the new Durian Crunch McFlurry features “a mix of vanilla soft serve, durian syrup, and what looks to be some kind of crunchy cereal,” according to Brand Eating. Considering McDonald’s tendency to water down local cuisine, however, chances are the actual product will be relatively harmless – more of a publicity tool than anything, similar to a chocolate bacon sundae or Watermelon Oreos (ohohohoho).
I personally have never tried durian, though growing up I did confuse it with jackfruit and couldn’t understand for the life of me what the big deal was. Several advocators on the interwebs claim that once you get over the smell, though, the actual taste of durian is absolutely delicious. They also recommend starting off with milder recipes like durian cakes or durian custard to get yourself acclimated to its glory. To that end, maybe Mickey D’s is just trying to help out the Singaporean durian market by releasing a baby version of the King to the masses. This could be stealth marketing at its finest, folks. Those sly, sly dogs.