Kitsby founder Amy Hsiao wants you to give durian a try. In fact, she’ll send you what many people have called the world’s stinkiest fruit to your doorsteps in the form of six desserts.
For $60, the limited-edition Durian Dessert Box is now available for delivery until June 7th throughout New York City (except for the Bronx). While the distinctive smell of durian has given it a bad reputation—it’s banned at some hotels and on public transit in various Southeast Asian countries—there are just as many people who prize this prickly-skinned fruit. Some compare the custardy yellow flesh to a perfectly ripe banana to an umami-packed wedge of Parmesan cheese.
“I went back to Taiwan every year, and every time I had it, I hated it,” says Hsiao, the founder of the year old Kitsby Dessert Bar in Williamsburg. “One day it just clicked. It’s like perfume now, not like garbage.”
The box, which uses the durian fruit from Thailand, is set to include the following desserts:
- Durian Lava Cake
- Durian Mille Crepe Cake
- Durian Macarons
- Durian Sticky Rice
- Durian Crémeux (a silky pudding with a sweet and strong flavors of durian)
- A chef’s choice dessert
Hsiao says there was some hesitation to offer the much-maligned fruit but that she wanted others to embrace an ingredient many durian fans find nostalgic—especially during the month of May, which is celebrated as Asian Pacific American Heritage month. The treats, which are currently difficult to find with many Asian-owned shops still closed, are also an homage to Kitsby’s all Asian American founders.
“For someone who’s really adventurous, this dessert is a really good option,” Hsiao says.
Orders must be placed by noon Friday for a Saturday delivery on May 30th. If these durian-based desserts sound too adventurous—we’re told the macarons are the most pungent—Kitsby offers other dessert boxes, such as a Snickerdoodle S’mores Cookie kit, for delivery.