A friend came over for dinner last night. Our friend can’t have gluten or peanuts, so I quickly settled on a green papaya thai salad with spicy orange shrimp over rice noodles. This required a trip to the Asian market. I picked up a lovely 2lb green papaya and a bag of thai basil and thai chiles (wear gloves when working with these bad boys!!) Then I spent 20 minutes looking for dried shrimp – which fyi are not in the aisle marked dried seafood, they live in the refrigerated section at the far end of the store. Did my best to choose a bottle of fish sauce (for the papaya salad) and then I decided to peruse the cookie aisle. I settle on some wafter cookies because I figure those are fairly benign, and as I look over the choices – peach, strawberry, vanilla, etc. I decide that I shall be open to new experiences and should broaden my tastebuds’ horizons. I throw a pack of wafer cookies into my cart and off I go – victory!

I prepare dinner – even managing not to heave up my lunch while measuring and pouring 3 tablespoons of fish sauce. Friend arrives, wine is opened, dinner begins. There is chatting and drinking and clearing of plates. I mention I bought cookies for dessert and my half-Chinese husband says “yes, those are an experience.” I could not tell what he meant by this and I also realize my friend can’t have them anyway – lucky girl. Soon I am face to face with the container of wafer cookies in a plastic bag and my husband demanding that I eat one cookie. I agree. I open the bag and am overwraught with the most offense odor – something musty and medicinal and putrid all at once. You see friends, in my quest to be open and cultured, I naively purchased durian wafers. They should be these on fear factor, I’m pretty sure the people on that show who ate cow intestine would NOT have been able to choke these bad boys down. I can’t even bring myself to actually eat one because the smell is so awful. I finally agree to a bite, a tiny bite and as soon as the evil wafer meets my tastebuds it is an instant gag reflex and I spit it all out.

I call my friend from Burma – maybe she likes them? She returns my call and can only laugh at me in pity. She admits to liking and eating the actual durian fruit, but that any other durian items she can not eat. Great, so now even the Asians don’t like these evil vile concoctions. I’m about to pitch the whole thing, when for laughs and to make myself feel better – I decide to give one to our dogs so I can see their repulsion on their faces, but it is the durian wafer who has the last laugh as all 3 of my dogs found the durian wafers a delectable treat and quickly begged for more. Not to self: the cookie/candy aisle the asian market is a place where evil things masquerade – veritable wolves in sheeps clothing. I’ll be skipping that aisle from now on.