Singapore hotel going ahead with durian festival – dpa international


Durian for sale in Singapore (Simon Roughneen)

Durian for sale in Singapore (Simon Roughneen)

JAKARTA – Singapore’s annual “Durian Fiesta” will proceed as planned this year, despite 178 cases of the potentially deadly coronavirus in the island city-state.

The event starts on March 14 and will celebrate the Southeast Asian favourite, which proponents extol as “the king of fruits.”

But wiill visitors brave the risk of infection for this of all fruits, given its odour elsewhere described – in some of the more polite terms – as akin to rotting flesh, sweat-laced clothes and festering garbage.

The Goodwood Park Hotel organizing the event, running between March and July, concedes that the durian, with its spiky green husk and creamy texture, is “an acquired taste.”

The hotel – eager to mark the 120th anniversary of its founding – has “taken precautionary measures to safeguard the health and well-being of all our guests and employees,” a spokesman said.

The durian is as versatile as it is stomach-churningly schismatic – its gloopy texture enabling the hotel’s agile chefs to gin-up a glut of glutinous concoctions catering to the city-state’s durian cognoscenti.

“Every year, the hotels greets returning supporters and welcomes new durian enthusiasts with an eagerly anticipated collection of new items and enduring favourites,” the hotel spokesman said.

Among the new-fangled fondants and fondues being fired up are durian pavlovas, durian cream cheeses, durian fritters – and gourmands are welcome to fritter away a few hours at the fiesta, which will wind up on July 26.

“We are optimistic that guests who love our durian pastries will continue to satisfy their durian cravings despite the current Covid-19 situation,” the hotel spokesman said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

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