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Durian Cakes

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These durian cakes were boldly on display in a freezer at Ranch Market, and I had to buy them. Technically, they were mung bean cakes made with "durian sugar," but regardless, they were going to be durian-flavored.

There were no instructions, so I guessed at how to prepare them and just set them on the counter to defrost. The package showed the durian cakes served with tea, so I took a hint and made a pot of black tea to accompany them. When I cut open my sad-looking little pastry, the filling looked reminiscent of a bruised banana (I hate bruised bananas).

After a cup of tea, I was brave enough to take a bite. It was horrible, tasting of rotting shoe leather and some other form of nasty only in existence in these pastries. There was no detectable mung bean flavor at all, and no durian flavor either. It was just gross.

But the second bite was a totally different story. Like some sort of magic wand had been waved, the flavor totally changed to some sweet, creamy, magic durian-y filling, totally unlike bruised bananas. It was like the first bite killed all offending taste buds, and the remaining ones were too confused to function properly. In retrospect, the cakes probably should have been toasted a little (defrosted frozen pastry is not the best).

If you've never tried durian before, this might be a nice way to do so, without the mess, effort or financial obligation (once you get past that initial bite). Yum!

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