• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


The Cakes have received a special commission: making some of the desserts for a global conference which will be hosted by the Diarchy themselves. As such, they're a little nervous about creating the right dish. And so after consulting a very old book, they're going to make something which nopony has seen (or smelled) for a very long time, a cake which requires one extremely special filling.

A very old book, the Princess, and a certain fruit.

Combine, then bake recipe for disaster for one day on low simmer.

(Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 127 )

First on an Estee story makes my day, my week and my year.

Hahaha, oh, thats a line you go out on.

Dear Princess Celestia,
You may have been able to see the flames from Canterlot, but I thought we should send you this letter anyway. In short, Ponyville has moved. We're located on the other side of the Whitetail Wood now. It just turned out to be easier to set fire to the whole place and rebuild than to banish the smell. If it becomes habitable in twenty or thirty years, we may go back, but for now, we've got a few orange cones around it and verbose warning signs.
Your Fellow Princess
Twilight Sparkle
P.S. Please find attached our address change form to the town of New Ponyville.

There aren't many fruit that can claim to be a source of entertainment in addition to nourishment. :rainbowlaugh:

When my brother was studying in the UK, he told me of that one time the student residence had to be evacuated because someone had reported a gas leak. When the fire department arrived and inspected the offending unit, they found that one of the Asian students had stashed fresh durian in the refrigerator, and the others had mistaken the scent for gas. True story. :derpytongue2:

For anyone curious enough to try them: Durian subspecies come in a variety of flavours and textures, ranging from 'slimy caramel cream' to 'gassy mud from the deepest pits of hell'. You'll probably have to sample them from multiple sources in order to find one you can tolerate, let alone enjoy. :trollestia:

:trollestia: I know it well
:derpytongue2: Haggis not as well
:moustache: I'll eat anything. . . almost
:facehoof: did you run run did you durian

This is all kinds of glorious.

I haven't read the story, but as someone with a durian-based name, I approve.

This is the second story I've seen about the 'dreaded' durian fruit on this site. Still fun to read how ponies react to 'the king of fruit'! lol

For those... unfamiliar with the Durian, it's known as the King of Fruits due to its size, its hard, thorny exterior, and because of its smell, which is the stuff of legend. The smell is like the Blue/Gold dress meme from a while back: Everyone perceives it differently. For some, the smell is incredibly pleasant and sweet. For others, it's like rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. Worse, though, is just how overwhelmingly powerful the smell can be, to the point that it takes days to pass. It's banned in many hotels and public transportation in Asia. Ironically, when prepared properly, it is actually quite delicious by all accounts.

But only if you can tolerate the smell long enough to do so.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

I can almost picture a wizened old griffon leading off with the Address to a Haggis.

I don’t know if there is any similar address to a durian, aside from the dry-retching...

Bah, I don't see why they put the Haggis through this whole 'its awful' shtick. For one, by its ingredients one notices that it is nothing but an overgrown sausage.:twistnerd:

Yup, and it's probably healthier than the crap one buys at the supermarket.

Other than that, I found this story to be hilarious! There isn't enough durian-related comedy in these parts. :trollestia::rainbowlaugh:

I just finished reading this story, and I must say, it is quite beautiful. But the things is, durians are openable with a large, sharp knife. Then again, ponies have hooves, not hands, so using a knife isn't likely to be a first option for an earth pony or pegasus.

But while looking up how to open a durian, I found a rather lovely description of the smell. Ahem...

Its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.

And the only thing worse than the smell of a durian is the smell of an opened durian.

My best friend in college once had her relatives (from Malaysia) send her a Durian, packed in ice and one of those sealed FedEx ice chests. The truck it arrived in smelled like a charnel pit wrapped in dogshit and liberally dipped in flaming bunker oil. Since she worked in the dining commons, she decided to stash the box in the campus cafeteria reefer--a 20x20 icebox where most of the contents were stored at 15 degrees F.

They ended up throwing out two shelves of food around the ice chest and burning the durian in one of the campus labs' incinerators. It was only by the narrowest margin that my friend didn't lose her job or end up thrown off campus. But the Resident Dean thought about it. Hard.

I had durian cake on my birthday. Sure, it may drive away anybody who isn't used to (or likes) the smell, but it tastes amazing.

Are you talking freezer durian, or fresh? Freezer durian smells worse, 'cause you're factoring in damp plastic wrap and freezer burn on top of the existing smells. :raritywink:

Either one. You have to remember, that shell they have is hard and spiky, but it's also the only thing between you and the source of that smell, and anything that can get through that kind of a shell is powerful indeed.

I have a snack bag of dried durian flakes. Does that count even if it smells more like banana bread than fresh/freezer durian?

And so we add another title to the long list of Celestia's honorifics.

Durian's Bane.

Say, anybody here ever had jackfruit before? It smells like fruitcake, looks like durian, and tastes like some weird hybrid between mangoes and oranges.

And that's just ONE person's description of it. Some folks aren't bothered by the smell and find it pleasant. And then because there are 30(!) varieties of durian, the smells vary even further!

However, in pure defiance of all things natural and sacred (which seems to suit the durian just fine, thank you), the TASTE is exquisite! As quoted by Alfred Russel Wallace (a British naturalist) from some writing in 1856:

The five cells are silky-white within, and are filled with a mass of firm, cream-coloured pulp, containing about three seeds each. This pulp is the edible part, and its consistence and flavour are indescribable. A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acidic nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience. ... as producing a food of the most exquisite flavour it is unsurpassed.

So yeah, if you're strong enough, brave enough, and/or crazy enough to get past the stench of Satan's bunghole, then you are treated to a pure orgy of Heavenly flavor.

Ah, durians. The fruit in Super Mario Sunshine that is impossible to give to the Pianta on the other side of the docks next to the ground pound building because you can only kick it like a soccer ball and they disappear the instant they touch water.

Funny story. In Lady Layton, the theater serves durian-flavored popcorn. The protagonist is the only person who actually wants any, but it's all sold out by the time she gets there because the theater is full of rich twits who'll buy anything expensive and exotic.

yes!! omfg... yes! love this

I like haggis. It goes rather well with sufficient quantities of single malt. And there are worse things in a cheap hotdog sausage. Hooves and lips and all manner of horrible things.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
       Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
       As lang 's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
       In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
       Like amber bead.

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
       Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
       Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
       Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
       Bethankit hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
       Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
       On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
       His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
       O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
       He'll make it whissle;
An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
       Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
       That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
       Gie her a Haggis!

The one visible blue-green eye silently glared at her, then threatened to switch the first two letters and upgrade.

As a puzzle enthusiast and fan of anagrams, I am quite frustrated by not knowing where these two letters are, even whether they are the first two letters of the same word. Hint, please!

Well there is different smell for each person even if the same type of durian like my sister say it smells like it was the worst thing ever but for me it smell sweet and pleasant so I could say that every type of durian has different smell to the people but even the same type of durian can cause different type of smell for each person.

"Abomination onto Sun and Moon,"



Needs a space after the comma

Fluttershy is the Stare Master, remember?

Comment posted by Kirtai deleted Apr 29th, 2018

As such, being thoroughly beaten by fruit may be slightly embarrassing.


The one time I had durian, it tasted like vanilla pudding with a slight hint of onions.

The smell, I am proud at how accurate this is, is very similar to an old dumpster full of rotting mangos.

The left overs of it were out outside on a paper plate, and boy did the raccoons and whatever came in the night love it. The large nuts that are in each pocket were covered in tooth marks.

As a durian connoisseur, I can attest to the fact that the fruit does in fact have seams you can pry open with knives. Though we (meaning my dad and I) usually defaulted to using a cleaver for its heft. Just takes one strike from the bottom corner of the blade into the seams, and pry.

Oh, and you can easily get rid of the smell by running water through the durian shells and washing your hands with those. Which the ponies didn't know about. Much to our reading pleasure.

Fluttershy’s famous power over animals that she used against the cockatrice in season one is known as “the Stare.”

"This foe is beyond any of you. Run!"

Dear Mr Pratchett. Please find enclosed medical expenses for hysteria induced trauma, and three single transport tickets for Gaspode, Foul Ole Ron, and The Stench.

Yours, Hackit, Bodgit and Scarper.:trollestia:

You know those little cocktail sausages they do? Wouldnt the haggis equivalent of them be Sir Bury Black Pudding? Or would that be a special appearence by demand only?:pinkiegasp:

It's the heart lungs and liver of a sheep, boiled in its own stomach!



I missed that one too until Brumby_Run explained it.

Hahahahaha. This is one of your best story and I am amazed by the number of different description you found for the smell. Quite original and entertaining.

It will go into my favorite for sure.

Interesting tidbit about Mrs. Cake's culinary education.

Magnificent moment with the haggling. The rabbit season technique is far from Pinkie's only one, and silly should never be mistaken for stupid.

Not including durian in the botany books seems very odd. If nothing else, it does exist, much as ponies might not want it to. Heck, mentioning the illegal status might be advisable for those who'd just have to know if it's really that bad... though that might only encourage them.

Heh. Nice callback with the selenium. Really, seeing all of the different descriptions of the stench is one of the more fun parts of the story.

The one visible blue-green eye silently glared at her, then threatened to switch the first two letters and upgrade.

I know the Stare is bad, but what happens when she does it gilently?

I could question why a fruit-bearing tree, whose whole reproductive strategy is to have the stuff get eaten to spread seeds, would produce such nigh-inviolable pods. I'm going to blame Discord and assume that the same angry hordes that rendered cantomile extinct couldn't bear the smell long enough to try to eliminate durian. That or it was a pre-Discord biological weapon gone horribly right.
Yes, I know durian actually exists, but this smirking, overgrown chestnut seems as above our own as Celestia is above other ponies. Not in any moral or divine sense, but in terms of sheer biological fitness. No wonder you need one to defeat the other... and that relationship may well be symmetrical.

Suffice to say, this raised some questions, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

Apparently history just repeated itself in time to make Estee's story topical.

Similarly, there were some very long-standing rumors which claimed the Princess didn't just consume normal food: the most prevalent of them claimed her nutrition came from raw sunlight. This was something which had never made sense to Pinkie: by its very nature, sunlight just had to arrive cooked.

yep, that's the sort of thing Pinkie would say! :pinkiehappy:

this silly game also comes to mind:
at the end, the villain actually THROWS a Durian at your character!

that part at the end, about Haggis, reminded me of something: a fancy style of Coffee that is made by feeding beans to a certain type of bird, collecting the beans after the bird poops them out, then brewing them!
would you believe people are willing to pay $1000 a CUP for that type of Coffee?!


It consists of cute skrees in iambic pentameter.

My personal guess? Two possibilities:
1. Durian evolved to be very picky about who spreads the seeds, accepting only intelligent, tool-using animals
2. Durian evolved to convince animals not to attack the fruit until the seeds inside are absolutely mature. Then the whole fruit falls down some 20 floors worth of height and cracks on impact, liberating the fruit flesh and seeds.

Third: It evolved a horrifying stench to kill anything that got too close, and use the corpse as fertilizer to help it grow.

Couldn't help but think of this:

Equestrian Durians date from the Former Cycles, when the Great Old Ones walked, crawled, and flopped across the land and cultivated produce proof against any mere mortal.


The one visible blue-green eye silently glared at her, then threatened to switch the first two letters and upgrade.

As a puzzle enthusiast and fan of anagrams, I am quite frustrated by not knowing where these two letters are, even whether they are the first two letters of the same word. Hint, please!

I don't get it either... none of the possible combinations of "switch the first two letters" makes any sense:

silently glared --> silently lgared
silently glared --> gilently slared
silently glared --> islently lgared
silently glared --> gllently siared

Kirtai and Brumby_Run are probably correct in that "The Stare" is what Estee was trying to reference here, but... it really doesn't work, IMO. Not only is there no combination that can turn "silently glared" to "(adverb-ly) stared" merely by switching the first two letters of either (or both) words, there doesn't even seem to be a combination that makes valid words out of the results of the letter-switch at all...

The stallion's reaction was instant. His eyes went left. Then they went right. A society which included pegasi offered a requirement for a upwards direction.
"What about the... smell?" Pinkie asked. "It's in here."
It was. It was more or less wandering around the place while testing the strength of the floor and deciding what it might want to pay for rent.

There are fanfics, and there are Estee fanfics.
The One word which comes to mind is prose.


Sure there is. You switch "gl" for "St". glared -> Stared. There's no need to involve other words.

Although it had me stumped for a while.
I gave it a couple of extra reads.

If the term 'replace' rather than 'switch' was used (also perhaps hinting that it was the second word) then there would be less confusion.

Ah, durians. I have heard the legends.

I have no interest in finding out just how true they are.

I have enough foul odors to deal with as it is. (Alondro gets gas alot...) :pinkiesick:

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