For the audience who has yet to experience the King of Fruits, one of the things you must be wondering about is exactly how sharp and stiff each durian thorn is.
I have asked my lovely assistant SW to demonstrate the pokiness and impressive amount of resistance a durian thorn offers, by sticking the tip of his finger into the thorn. He applies a decent amount of pressure, but not quite enough to move the 1 Kg fruit husk across the table.
You can see how just a few seconds of pressure has already left an impression on his finger.
Holding a durian husk is dangerous work and recommended only if you have a sturdy glove or if your epidermis has already been hardened by years of work with your hands.
Many durian sellers will have a cloth glove just to pick the durian up, but some really hardcore guys just use their bare hands.
If you need to pick a durian up, make sure you grab it by its stalk (which hopefully is long enough) or use both hands to spread out the weight evenly across a bigger surface area.
Another interesting point that my uncle (who visited 3 weeks ago and is a durian fanatic as well) told me was that eating durians and that they cause sore throats is a myth.
His thought is that the fruit itself isn’t “heaty” as what all Chinese people say it is, but it is full of carbohydrates which will cause you to put on weight if you don’t burn it off.
His hypothesis is that the spikes and thorns are very dirty -coming from plantation floors and the the dusty back of fruit trucks and unwashed baskets- and that it is this dirt that harbours a great deal of bacteria and viruses. Hence if we touch the thorns in the process of opening the fruit, then proceed to use the very same fingers to eat it, the bacteria and dirt transfers from the thorns to your fingers and then onto the flesh and into your mouth and digestive system. From there, it all depends on whether your immune system can handle this new influx of contaminants. Usually, an initial exposure will cause some of your healthy cells to be lost but soon after once your immune system kicks in the bacteria and viruses are destroyed and the infection is subdued.
So moral of this durian story is:
Get someone (durian seller) to open the durians for you and wash your hands before you eat the fruit.
Alternatively, pack the fruit into polystyrene containers and eat it like BC does – with a fork! (but it won’t taste as good as from your fingers- personal opinion)