Durian Fruit and a Chicken Claw

Today (in addition to several other things) I had the opportunity to experience durian fruit and chicken claw.

First, the durian.  For those who’ve never had it (many of you probably have never even heard of it), it is a fruit with a very strong, ‘distinctive odor’.  Even though Indonesians love durian, the odor is so distinctive that it is banned from hotels, subways, airports, etc.  The odor is described, on the bad side, as “rotten onions, turpentine, raw sewage, gym socks, rotting flesh”, etc.  You get the idea.  On the good side, some describe it as “rich custard with almond flavor.  It has a consistency of cream cheese; gooey and a little stringy.    And, with all of its foibles, durian is not cheap – 50,000 Rupiah, or about $3.50 each. Compare that to a large mango or papaya at less than a $1.

I did not find the odor as described – distinct, yes, but not offensive.  It was fairly sweet, but not overly so.  The consistency was little gooey for me, but overall – not bad at all.  So, now I’ve had durian.  Would I have it again?  Yes.  Would I go out of my way to find it? No.

This place was a durian processing place – hence the statue….
‘Durian King of Jogja’
Picking out a good one.  Notice the gloves – the spikes are hard and sharp!
Here’s the lucky fruit about to meet its demise.  



And there’s the gloppy first bite….
Down the hatch – actually quite tasty
Rian is our driver, translator, interpreter, teacher and instructor of all things Indonesian.   He’s 23, single, returned missionary, BYU-Hawaii student but home for a few months.  A great guy…(except for the caterpillar on his upper lip….)   


Chicken Claw (“Cakar Ayam” – cha-kar aye-yom)

Hotel breakfasts here arte buffet – some huge, some not so much.  The hotel we stay at in Jogja (the Eastparc) is very nice and has a huge breakfast buffet.  Lots of foreigners stay here, so they have to have a little of everything – Chinese, Japanese, Western, and of course, native Indonesian.  They serve all kinds of things – some good, some not so much, so we leave behind.  Today was a special treat – chicken feet, or chicken claw.  So, I tried it:

Just one, lonely foot, since that was all I was going to try
I cut off one toe and gave it a go…
You eat the meat (such as it is), then spit out the bones.  Actually, it was quite good – they had slow-cooked it in a teriyaki sauce, so it was soft with a good flavor, with a little meat (not just cartilage).  Would I have it again? Maybe.  Would I go out of my way to find it?  No. 

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