It breaks my heart to drop this bombshell on you. It literally knocked the breath out of me, hearing one grower after another spell out this doom.
“It’s been a sparse season,” said the Big Island’s Wailea Agricultural Group, source of 100 percent of my delectable durian. “We’re only harvesting two or three a week, and I don’t think any of that’s gone off-island.”
I was embarrassing myself. I couldn’t stop. “I videotaped people throwing up durian, and even more people got interested. We’ve been waiting!”
Wailea Ag took down my number, in case they find an extra durian they can FedEx to me. I was halfway buoyed.
But realistic. I called Frankie’s Nursery in Waimanalo.
It was involuntary, the sudden and complete expulsion of air. It was as if the king of fruits had punctured my lungs with its inch-long thorns. “What?” I hissed. “Zero? Zero durian this year?”
I could hear Frankie’s trying not to laugh. “It’s every other year,” she said. “We had a lot last year. Try us again next year.”
Should I fly to Hilo? What if I get to Hilo and there’s no durian? Should I wait for mangosteen season in Vietnam, head there in May and get my durian at the same time? Seems almost efficient, no?
One more hope: Maui. I googled, then picked up the phone and called Ono Organic Farms in Hana.
So there you have it. The sad state of fresh durian in Hawaii this season. I haven’t even tried Kauai. I can’t take it.
If you know of any fresh durian in the state, PUH-LEEZ pleasepleaseplease let me know. I promise I’ll share the news with everybody. I’ll even share the durian.