Thursday, September 29, 2011

Searching For Durian


It was the time of the year to send my mom her birthday card and this took me to LBC (a courier service to the Philippines) in the city of Artesia on Wednesday morning. Next to it is an oriental store which I always thought was 99 Ranch but turned out to be Seafood City. It created an opportunity to find out if they sold durian fruit or jam. Ever since I wrote about Nangka-Nangka (, I’ve wondered where I could find durian around where I live. So after sending the birthday card and some money for Mama, I went to the store. You would have thought I was in the Philippines because the place was teeming with Flips who were either speaking in English, Pilipino, or other Philippine dialects. I was surprised to see one of my former co-workers from Bellflower Medical Center there and we talked for a few minutes to catch up. I hadn’t seen him in about 8 years since I left that hospital. I asked him about durian but he didn’t know if the store had it. That left me alone in my search which led me to the frozen food section, fruit spreads section, fruit and vegetable section, and finally another freezer where I found a whole bunch of fruits which I haven’t seen in years. They were the fruits of my childhood (
I found it! I immediately saw the unmistakable durian. After all, how could one miss such a spiny fruit? The surprising thing was that it came in that form, when I was only expecting frozen fruit in a plastic container. After examining that whole freezer section, I was so surprised to see more fruits that I used to eat a lot of while growing up in Jolo, that I had to take pictures of them. I didn’t even know that you could freeze some of those fruits because in Jolo, the fruits were harvested that day, taken to market, sold and eaten the same day (for the most part). Why, that’s even better than the farmer’s markets of today!
I ended up not buying any of it even though I really wanted to taste durian again after missing it for decades. Unfortunately it didn’t come in the form of jam or preserve. Even if I bought the whole fruit, I didn’t have access to a bolo knife (a Philippine machete) or any kind of cleaver to open up the fruit. God forbid, with my clumsiness, I would have pierced my skin on the spines of the fruit while trying to pry it open.This means that I will have to continue my search for the plastic container kind. This will take more delayed gratification on my part. Well, so be it.
Here are the rest of the frozen fruits I saw:







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