Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Searching For Durian Jam

After finding durian fruit and ice cream bars in Asian stores, my search continued for one last durian product: jam or preserves. Let me track back a little bit. I finished all of the frozen durian a few days ago. I tried eating it thawed, partially frozen, and defrosted by microwave. Fully thawed, it felt too mushy, partially frozen, it numbed the taste buds, but then, when I microwaved it, the sugars seemed to have been released and it tasted as heavenly as I remembered it growing up. I have one ice cream bar left and that shall be gone soon too.
To continue with the jam search, so far I haven’t seen any in brick and mortar grocery stores, but doing a Google search, I found an online store from Oklahoma that sells them. However, the reviews from former customers were terrible, saying that products were shipped late, and often expired goods were sent. When some customers requested refunds for undelivered or returned products, the company was not very prompt in following through.
 Some of my former high school classmates saw durian preserves being sold at the airport in Zamboanga City, and based on the present currency exchange rate, the price was about $6.60 for a 16 oz. bottle. If I ordered that, the postage would have cost much more than the price of the jam itself. The one sold in Oklahoma is $5.29 for 12 oz. plus $5.99 (flat rate regardless of how many bottles ordered) for postage. It would of course be more advantageous to order more than one bottle because that makes the shipping fee more reasonable. However, I’ll have to think hard before ordering from that store based on the negative reviews.
 A couple of days later using Bing search, I found another online store based in the city of Hawthorne which is probably 8 to 12 miles away from where I live. I sent them an email over the weekend to find out if it was possible to go to their location to buy their products (which would enable me to check for expiration dates). Each bottle costs $5.39 with shipping within California being $4.99. Since they are closed on weekends, I’m still awaiting a reply from them. Oh, by the way, they also sell srikaya (salikaya) jam, another one of my favorite spreads. It’s been more than a week since I wrote this draft and they still have to respond to my inquiry. That doesn’t portray their customer service very well and thus I’m reluctant to order from them too.
By the way, the durian jam from all these online stores is the Mariza brand from Indonesia. Maybe I can get over my reluctance and order some just to see how it tastes compared to the ones I grew up eating. I’ll let you know.
I wrote most of the above last week but here's a quick update before this is posted. One of my high school classmates who lives in New York ordered from the Hawthorne store I mentioned above and said she was disappointed with the quality of the product, meaning, it didn't taste as good as the one made in my hometown of Jolo. I may have to order it and find out for myself.

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