For me, the custardy lobes of the "king of fruits" brings to mind overripe ricotta, but the aroma has also been likened to unwashed sweat socks, and far worse. (When it comes to durians, even your best friends will tell you.) There's no doubt about their pungency: Even though my score was encased a Styrofoam container inside a pressure-crimped plastic bag inside a plastic shopping bag inside my backpack, I caught an occasional whiff, and wondered who else could tell I was carrying.
A smaller specimen of these spiky, thick-husked fruits (mon thong cultivar, $1.20 per pound) runs about five pounds before it's sliced open and scooped clean; add a dollar tip for your durian wrangler. The more-prized musang king also appears now and again.
Also shown below: Wax jambu ($5 per pound) were more compact and a deeper red than others I'd bought nearby; to my regret, they offered only a little more flavor. Sharon fruit (1 kg., $4) are named for Israel's coastal Sharon Plain. This basket, labeled in French and English, maintained that they are "les persimmons les plus sucrés au monde," and, indeed, they were sweet enough to eat as is, skin and all, even when firm. They didn't have the tannins of many other persimmon cultivars, but, even when allowed to rest a few days, they didn't develop the lusciousness of, say, a good fuyu.
Fruit stand outside Tu Quynh Pharmacy
230 Grand St. (at the Bowery), Manhattan
Closed Tuesday or Wednesday, depending