Eating durian is an experience like no other. In Mintal, durian trees abound; so, in durian season, which starts around July, Mintal welcomes you with the distinctive scent: pungent as the jackfruit; addictive as rugby; and, strong as coffee. My favorite variety, Arancillo, is like a balled porcupine, with shades ranging from olive green to khaki depending on the ripeness, and is usually no bigger than a basketball. Although the physical appearance of durian is daunting, its taste makes up for this. Eating the “aril”, or the flesh of durian, is like reveling in a roller coaster ride. Its amalgam of milky sweetness and slightly bitter taste explodes in the mouth like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken; its sticky and soft consistency matches a soft sweet potato; its long lasting aroma rivals the scent of “tuyo”. You can gobble up every durian in sight, and still hunger for more, simply because you can’t forget its scent. It’s like ambrosia some say, but it’s more than that. It is also the perfect example of yin-yang. It’s not as bitter as ampalaya or as sweet as sugar; but it is created by nature to complement each taste such that one can’t function without the other – this is durian’s distinctive bittersweet taste.
Come to Mintal, and taste the fruit favored by the gods.