Most Malaysians go absolutely crazy for this perplexing, stinky fruit called durian. Its creamy fruit centre is encased in a hard, spiky shell, and its distinctive sulphuric stink immediately envelops its surroundings in a foul, garbage-like wave of offense. It is said that consuming alcohol and durians together will result in an instant death. Sara's younger cousin insisted that I not drink any beer while consuming the controversial fruit as I'd immediately keel over and die.
I was skeptical. Being the experimental brewer that I am, I bet against this notion and almost took it as a challenge. 'I'll show you!' I thought, 'I'll even craft a durian beer to in order to falsify this silly myth!' (though I'd give it to the suckers in my local homebrew club to try first, of course, just in case).
When I typed will mixing durian and alcohol kill you? into Google, the results were inconclusive. Some websites insisted you'd die, while others claimed you wouldn't. Many said that mixing it with hard liquor would make you make you very sick (but not dead).
It's hardly surprising. The first time I tried durian, I wasn't quite sold on the fruit writing, 'I give durians a 4/10 with 1 being definitely poison and 10 being eh, maybe poison.'
But then I tried it again in Penang - a city known for its exceptional durian - during peak season. These durians were fresh from a tree in a durian orchard on a mountainside. They were awesome. I ate two whole durians. They tasted much sweeter this time around round - less like garlic and more like brown sugar. They were deliciously creamy.
I was then offered some Carlsberg to go with my durian. I noticed the orchard farmers were enjoying it with their durian, so I figured it must be safe.
But it wasn't. I immediately started convulsing and died. 😞