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10 Common Foods That Smell Worse Than Durian

Published April 28, 2020 by Maryanne

DurianAlmighty Durian — The King of All Fruit! 

I’ve been a serious durian eater for almost 20 years. I first heard of durian when I was a raw foodist back in the day. I learned that the durian has more vitamins than any other fruit. And that it was absolutely delicious, but had a strange smell.

The first time I tried it, it was durian “ice cream” at a raw food restaurant in NYC. Since it was frozen, it had no smell. I even asked my guest, “Does it smell?” No, it didn’t. A short time after that, I got a real durian, in China Town. That’s when I realized it did have a bit of an odd smell, but it didn’t stop me from waiting for the fruit to defrost and dig in!

Durian is the most delicious thing you can imagine! It has the consistency of custard, and tastes like a cross between hazelnut, vanilla, banana, with a tinge of onion. Weird, but it works! Durian is absolutely addicting. Because of the vitamin content, you’ll be high for hours after eating one (or some of it, as there is truly a lot of fruit pudding in each pod!)

After I first broke my durian cherry, I was so hooked I was hoofing it to China Town once a week, carrying three with me on the bus home. Yes, it’s true, I had a three-per-week durian habit. Friends said I was like a crack addict when it came to durians. I loved them so much, I had one tattooed on my inner calf. And to this day, only one stranger approached me and asked, “Is that a durian?” No one else knows what it is. But it works when I’m in an Asian market, because the workers do not understand what I want until I show them my tattoo. Then they laugh and direct me to the fish area where everything is on ice.

It’s rare to meet a fellow durian lover. I’ve tried recruiting people, but the best comment I’ve heard was from my mother, “I like it, but I don’t love it.” People are mainly turned off by the smell. The durian has been compared to paint cleaner, a gas leak, and even garbage. Yeah, it’s true. Sometimes I’ll pass garbage in NYC and start dreaming about durian.

Okay, I get it, I won’t eat durian around anyone. But why do people get so bent out of shape with the mere mention of a durian? First thing out of their mouths, “It smells.” How original! (Note sarcasm!)

So, since people are so quick to judge my durian, let me put it out there that there are foods that stink worse–and YOU eat them! Yes, it’s true, and here they are in no particular order….

  1. Cold Cuts (aka lunch meat). There’s not much that makes me gag more than lunch meat. It has a nasty stench that makes you think it was slivered off the animal right then and there. This is what I’d imagine a dead person to smell like before embalming.
  2. Cheese. If it’s so accepted for stinky cheese to be good, then lay off my durians!
  3. Chinese Food. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chinese food–the dishes that are more on the plain side, like brown rice, moo shu, or vegetable lo mein. But what is that horrific sauce that is orange? The smell is so strong it knocks me over.
  4. Vinegar. First of all, I LOVE vinegar. When it’s on a salad, you barely notice that it stinks. But when people use it in their hair, or if a bottle breaks — hold your nose! Vinegar smells like dirty feet.
  5. Hot Dogs. If you think hot dogs smell good, you are thinking of the onions and sauerkraut toppings. A regular hot dog boiling is similar to what I described above for cold cuts. Blech!
  6. Tomato Juice. I was once seated at a lecture next to a woman who was drinking tomato juice. Now that was an unforgettable foul smell.
  7. Fish. This is one 90 percent will agree with.
  8. Alcohol. This is why I don’t like to dine out. If there’s a bar, you can smell stale alcohol and it ruins your appetite. It’s as if it’s stuck in the wood; even in the fanciest of restaurants, that diseased smell exists.
  9. Coffee with milk and sugar that is sitting around. Don’t get me wrong on this one, fresh-brewed hot, black, coffee is one of the greatest smells. But, cold coffee with milk and sugar, just hanging around for over an hour, has a smell that can make you gag.
  10. Cigarettes. Okay, this isn’t a food, but the way some people are addicted, it might as well be one of the food groups to them. And they are the worst stench of all! There is nothing sexy about cigarettes. When I see someone in the street smoking, I will cross the street just to avoid them. If I’m exposed to your cigarette smoke, I should be allowed to kill you. (That’s a joke).

What foods do you find most offensive? Share in the comment section below!  

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

Favorite Healthy Eats in Ocean City, New Jersey

Published October 10, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8693Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

My husband and I treated ourselves to a beautiful three-day stay in Ocean City, New Jersey. We scored a penthouse suite overlooking the ocean with a heated pool and a jacuzzi in the room (we absolutely adored the place, but I’m not saying where we stayed because we love our privacy and do plan to go back — very soon!)

So, while being vague about our actual vacation, I will give a shout out to some places that had great eats!

Crab Trap: https://www.thecrabtrap.com/

The Crab Trap, after a 45-minute wait for a table, was a very good time. They had live entertainment and excellent service. Standouts include the crackers and horseradish on the table (very addicting!) and the clams on a half shell.

Yoasis: http://yogurt-oasis.com/

Right on the boardwalk! The signature Original Acai bowl was to die for: pure acaí, banana, almond milk blend, topped with granola, sliced banana, and honey. This is so delicious, after the first one I went back three hours later for another — and added spirulina the second time. I’m only home one day and I am missing this already! (And again excellent service!)

Rojos Tacos: http://www.octacos.com/

Wanting something simple and healthy, I opted for a large serving of guacamole. Theirs was fabulous. It was made with cilantro. Another place with excellent service!

Bashful Banana: http://www.bashfulbananacafe.com/

Also on the boardwalk. I love this place because I was able to get lunch for breakfast! I had a veggie burger with hummus, salad and fresh fruit; and a kale/carrot/celery juice. Delicious, fresh food and more great service! We ate outside, but when I went inside, it was super cool to hear The Archies playing “Sugar Sugar.”

And I have to give a shout out to Pamela’s (health food) in Margate: http://www.pamelashealth.com/

Pamela is a doll! I just stopped in for some zinc because I was a little under the weather. We ended up talking about cats for about 10 minutes! So I must say, they have some organic cat food I wasn’t able to find anywhere else. And you just can’t take a vacation without bringing a treat home to the little guy! ❤

When It Comes to Food, Go Where the Love Is!

Published September 24, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8617Having fun — at a DINER! ❤

I recently became managing editor of an upcoming food magazine. It’s a great thing, because I love to eat. I flip flop between eating very healthy and going for good ol’ diner food. And there’s a reason why I am not militant about eating healthy all the time.

When I first came on board as managing editor, I was thrilled to see how many farm-to-table restaurants there are, but a little leery about the pretense that comes with it. I’ve been to so many restaurants, some are just too “foo foo” for my tastes that I’d never set foot in them again.

Of all the restaurants I’ve been to in my life, I have to say Pure Food & Wine on Irving in New York City is the ONLY restaurant that rates five stars with both food and service. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve been treated like a queen and the food was amazing. But then again, what do you expect from a place that has a $6000 Japanese water filter?! The water is like silk!  And no attitudes at all! That’s why Pure Food & Wine will always be my favorite. However, I don’t live in NYC, so I don’t get to go as much as I’d like. And since no other restaurant quite adds up to Pure Food & Wine, it’s often a toss up. What is most important? Good food? Good service? Healthy, natural food? Price?

Your guess is as good as mine. If I’m going out to eat, it just depends what area I’m in that day.

About half a year ago, I vowed never to go back to a certain gluten-free eatery because the service was the pits. Today I was in a health food store I was never in before. The cashiers and manager had such piss poor attitudes. These are the kind of women my husband and I call “Health Hags.” That means women who work in a health food store but are ugly inside and out, the opposite of a picture of health!

I gave this terrible store bad reviews all over the internet and even sent them an email that they could learn something from McDonalds. Check out this heart-warming story: http://nextshark.com/mcdonalds-worker/

I won’t even talk about the food I got in that health food store today because it’s irrelevant. When you get bad service, you can’t even properly enjoy your food. Of course you’re upset so you eat without truly tasting. This is why I say, it’s sometimes better to eat cheaper, crappier food — IF you are in a more relaxed environment.

The other day when I was on the cable show in Long Island, my friend and I hit a diner on the way back. We had Greek salads and sweet potato fries. Of course the salad was non-organic. And the fries were probably sugar-coated. But because the service was so fantastic, we ate in peace and really enjoyed our meal, which was stretched out to two hours! This is most likely why they say countries like France and Italy have less of an obesity rate than the United States — because they eat slow and enjoy. When you’re not stressed, you digest better. This is why I say, you can eat all the kale you want, but if you’re not happy, it ain’t gonna do you any good! (DO YOU HEAR THAT HEALTH HAGS?!)

So, next time you’re thinking about going on the road, please, do not stress over cooking in your hotel room or even seeking out the nearest health food store. Just go to a freakin’ diner and ENJOY! You’ll probably get a sexy cougar type waitress, chewing gum and calling you “Hunny Bunny.” Can’t beat that and you certainly won’t get that kind of cool in a farm-to-table restaurant or health food store!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a health advocate and a public speaker. She presents various health topics, including healthy food samples. For bio, rates, and availability, email her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Celebrating Mom and Pop Health Food Stores

Published May 15, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7343Basil Bandwagon (Photo by Maryanne Mistretta)

I took a much needed day off today and went on a little adventure and ended up, for the first time at two amazing health food stores I was never in before! Big Bear Natural Foods (http://www.bigbearnaturalfoods.com/) in Pennington, New Jersey and Basil Bandwagon (http://basil-bandwagon.tumblr.com/) in Flemington, New Jersey.

Basil Bandwagon has been around since 1993 and Big Bear since 1971 (with locations in Pennsylvania too!)

Since the mid-1980s when I first became health conscious, I was all about supporting the local health food stores. Back then, they were a real novelty. You go to the Mom and Pop stores and find amazing items you couldn’t find elsewhere. Then fast-forward to modern times and now all the big corporations like Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, A&P sell the goods, even the goods you’d least suspect: grass-fed beef, Miracle Noodles, kombucha and non-homogenized grass-fed milk. And that is a good thing, but not for the Mom and Pop stores. So I like to continue supporting them as much as possible.

The thing with Mom and Pop stores though is that they do jack their prices up, so my game plan is to look for sales or very unique products that are not yet in supermarkets.

Both stores went beyond my expectations!

At Big Bear I purchased Brad’s Kale Chips which were on sale. These raw chips are my favorite, but extremely pricey. So kudos to Big Bear for having a sale!

Then at Basil Bandwagon my favorite score was Nick’s Sticks (http://www.nicks-sticks.com/), grass-fed beef snacks with no nitrites, no added antibiotics or MSG (and no sugar either, I might add). These treats were absolutely delightful! As a little girl I favored Slim Jims (an unhealthy treat) and I gave them up in my early 20s learning how bad they were for you. Nick’s Sticks is the first grass-fed beef snack I ever had that was just as fabulous as Slim Jims — but they are GOOD for you. With 10 grams of protein, a fairly low sodium content for a snack, zero carbs, zero grams of sugar and nine grams of healthy fat — you can’t go wrong! This brings me back to the day of eating beef snack sticks on the porch, reading comic books, while my Grandma and Aunt Sophie chatted. What a great thing to have a healthy version of a favorite childhood treat!

And I’m ecstatic to say, the service at both Big Bear and Basil was excellent!

At Big Bear, the woman who helped me went out of her way looking for other health food stores in the area to help me find a product I was looking for. That’s how I came upon Basil Bandwagon, which was huge — possibly the biggest health food store I was ever in, including those in NYC. They had a counter where I ended up having a bean burger without bread. They put it on a huge salad platter, accompanied with fresh salsa. The greens were super fresh too. They had Bragg’s amino liquids on the counter and balsamic vinegar, as well as pink Himalayan sea salt. It’s so nice when health food stores go the extra mile for you and you don’t have to ask for stuff. Everyone in the store was extremely helpful and I spent a lot of time there.

You can guarantee I will be back at both health food stores

(Even though they are not in my area, they are well-worth the trip!)

And I gotta be honest too. Even though I’m a Young Living Oils distributor, I do LOVE a diffuser that was being used at Big Bear by a company called NOW. So I will be going back to get that diffuser. (No disrespect to Young Living, but hey, you gotta love my honesty! I still spend over $100 a month on Young Living products and always will. I’m just madly in love with that diffuser. Tee-hee!)

KUDOS to TWO AWESOME MOM AND POP HEALTH FOOD STORES!

YOU GIVE NEW JERSEY A GOOD NAME!

SAM_7349Looking forward to eating my Sea Snax!

Live Kombucha Soda

Published May 6, 2015 by Maryanne

Live kombuchaLive Kombucha Soda Series

I think I’m in love!

I’ve written in the past about my love for kombucha. Today I discovered, Live Kombucha Soda (which is really kombucha with evaporated cane juice, stevia and natural flavorings). It’s a fabulous treat. I had the “Pure Doctor.”

According to the label, the founder had a dad who was a soda addict so he wanted to create something healthy and tasty.

I look forward to trying the Cola and Limon flavors.

I found mine at Stop & Shop in Clifton, New Jersey. If you go to their website, you can put in your zip code and find out where they carry it in your area: http://livesodakombucha.com/

“Eat Well for the Holidays” at Westfield Library

Published December 18, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_6640Maryanne and librarian, Jennifer

Thanks to Jennifer and Westfield Library for having me present “Eat Well for the Holidays.”

I spoke about little “tricks” you can do to stay motivated during the holiday season as well as how to deal with “food pushers.”

Afterward, I served paleo, gluten free, grain free, sugar free zucchini bread from The Squirrel and The Bee  in Short Hills, NJ (http://thesquirrelandbee.com/).

For a list of all my lectures (available to libraries, JCC groups, seniors, health clubs, schools, etc.) please visit me at: www.peartreeenterprises.com

Springing Ahead!

Published March 9, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_3732Art on wall of Surf Taco in Red Bank

It was super getting up early during “Spring Ahead” when everyone else stayed in bed making up the extra hour.

My husband and I hit Red Bank which is a hip little town about a half hour from our home. I did some clothes shopping while he went record shopping, then I met up with him. I scored two blouses and a CD from a band that’s been around for some time but I recently discovered via Pandora.

It’s just all about the keyboards — they totally speak to me.

After shopping we had a great lunch at Surf Taco. I’m thrilled that they now have vegan tacos (and that they KNOW that vegan means NO CHEESE!) YAY!

Then we went to the next town over — Shrewsbury — to my favorite market Dean’s and got some great healthy eats: buckwheat noodles, chia kombucha, fresh organic blackberries, and much more!

The sun was shining and it was simply a gorgeous winter day! Life is good, as always.

Loving Sundays!

Published June 9, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1193I love my husband!

Today was great! My husband and I took a ride down to one of our favorite towns, Keyport.

We like to eat at McDonagh’s Pub. They have such great veggie sliders, which I always get on a salad. (See photo below!)

SAM_1194

I forgot to say “no tomatoes” because I only eat organic tomatoes and this wasn’t an organic restaurant. So I picked them off — no worries! I love the restaurant so much because they play rock every time we’re there. (And more obscure stuff, not overplayed classic rock!)

One of the coolest things happened today — which is why I love my husband so much. We were in an antique store that we always shop in and buy stuff. We usually deal with the female owner who is awesome, but today she was very busy with someone who seemed to be giving her a hard time. So while my husband shopped, I asked the male owner if I could use the rest room. He wouldn’t let me and sent me out to Town Hall.

I let my husband know where I was going. I walk out, passed my husband’s car and saw two idiots (middle-aged, so they should know better!) leaning on his car. Seems it was guy getting an autograph from some author. I said, “Could you please get off our car!” They apologized and said they weren’t doing anything damaging. Regardless, you don’t lean on other people’s property, especially when it’s a gorgeous (almost classic!) car! With all the dumpy cars around, they had to choose ours!

So I’m walking back and then I saw my husband looking for me.

He said that he walked out of the antique shop without buying.

I asked him why.

He said, “That jerk wouldn’t let my wife use the restroom so he’s not getting any business from us!”

Go Dennis! He defended me, then I told him how I defended him in regard to his car.

It’s so cool that around the same time we were taking care of each other, without the other knowing! It’s so cool to be on the same page, knowing someone loves you and always has your back and you have his. After seven years I’m still like a teenager in love with my heart beating so fast around my husband. I love him so much!

And for the record, a nice young kid in a coffee shop (Espresso Joe’s) let me use their bathroom. Since he was so nice, I suggested going there for coffee next time. See — it’s good business to be kind to others ’cause you never know if people will come back — and since we’re good karma kinda folks, we most certainly will!

So giving a shout out to Espresso Joe’s for having nice workers! (And they have some great art displayed there too! Check them out: http://www.espresso-joes.com/

Good to know they have vegan snacks and gluten free items on the menu! Put this on the “to do” list for a snicky snack!

On the ride down to Keyport, we saw a group of Hell’s Angels on the parkway, so I got this shot:

SAM_1191Hell’s Angels (photo by me!)

Now that is the way to be a responsible biker! Note the proper biker attire, note that they are driving according to the rules of the road, going a decent speed, not cutting people off. Very cool! If God forbid they get into an accident, the leather jackets, jeans and biker boots will protect their body a great deal.

Unlike these other idiots (non-Hell’s Angels) on dirt bikes that were riding like imbeciles, cutting off cars, driving recklessly, and dressed stupid — in shorts, sleeveless shirts and sandals (two guys and a girl on a back of one bike). If those buffoons get into an accident, their skin will be ripped to shreds! DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!

Anyway, a great ride down and a great ride back on this gorgeous New Jersey day. We caught a lot of the Glen Jones radio show on WFMU. Got to hear some great songs by Psychedelic Furs, Big Country, The Alarm, The Go-Gos (which started with a drum roll that sounded similar to Stiv Bator’s “It’s Cold Outside”) and The Rolling Stones — a favorite you NEVER hear on the radio, “Far Away Eyes.” So I had a blast singing/talking along with ‘ol Mick Jagger in a hillbilly accent.

Thanks Glen Jones for playing so much great music and being the soundtrack to our Sunday Love Days!

Last night we took a ride down to another one of our favorite places, Perth Amboy and walked along the Raritan bay. Hurricane Sandy hit very hard at Perth Amboy. So many beautiful homes were destroyed, including one we almost considered getting on the waterfront. But people are moving on with their lives. We took a nice walk through the back streets. It’s a historic town and we visited the Kearny Cottage from 1781.

Ben Franklin’s son William Franklin, also lived in Perth Amboy, he was the Royal Governor of the town.

SAM_1183Me at the Kearny Cottage garden

Enjoy the rest of this gorgeous day! For dinner we’re cooking together, a simple dish of brown rice pasta and an organic salad. Perhaps some wine too. It’s nice enough that it’s not too humid so we can eat outside — yay!

I found this amazing organic, vegan friendly wine, called Our Daily Red. You gotta love it!

Our Daily Red

Health Raves

Published March 3, 2013 by Maryanne

Dreaming cow better photoThe most delicious, healthiest yogurt ever!

I’ve been meaning to blog about “Dreaming Cow” yogurt for several weeks now.

America’s fascination with thinking of yogurt as a “health food” irks me to no end. There are hundreds of yogurts on the market, but they are all homogenized, filled with hormones, preservatives and contain sugar. Not to mention the yogurt places like Go Yogurt that use corn solids and artificial colors and flavorings. This is the garbage people are feeding their children on a daily basis, not even as a treat!

This is not so for Dreaming Cow. Their yogurt is non-homogenized, all natural, grass-fed with no added hormones, no preservatives and no refined sugar. The cream is so luscious to the lips. It’s my favorite yogurt ever! I prefer the regular, natural one. But the flavored ones (flavored with low-glycemic agave nectar) are delicious as a treat.

You can read more about it here: http://dreamingcow.com/

Another product that’s been part of my regular health regimen is Dr. Berg’s Kale Shakes. They are just awesome in the morning. They are promoted as a “meal replacement” — but hey, this is an Italian girl you’re talking to, no meal replacements here! Instead I think they are a healthy addition to a breakfast, giving you additional protein and greens. And they are YUMMY! Not chalky at all. The powder dissolves easily in coconut or almond milk.

For more information, go here: http://www.drberg.com/

Vita RocksVita Rocks!

And finally, Vita Rocks, a healthier version of Pop Rocks!

Interesting, just the other day I was thinking how much I loved Pop Rocks as a kid. Now I can re-live my childhood with this silly treat that’s kinda good for you. Vita Rocks are all natural and loaded with vitamins. The downfall is they do contain evaporated cane juice and are processed with CO2 for popping effect. So, again, a treat, not as a regular diet plan. They contain half of the RDA vitamins including: A, C, D3, E, B1, B3, B6, B9, B12, biotin, B5 and iodine. They also contain 26 percent RDA zinc and 17 percent RDA selenium.

Last Meal, Anyone?

Published December 20, 2012 by Maryanne

Barbecue chips

No more tomorrows? Bring on the chips!

If the world was really going to end tomorrow, how would you eat today?

If you didn’t have to worry about being bloated tomorrow, gaining weight, having sensitive teeth from sweets, having a hangover, having a stomach ache or headache, having garlic breath, having a heart attack, diabetes, etc. — WHAT WOULD YOU EAT?

This is a typical day for me:

Breakfast: Organic green smoothie (kale, apple, lemon) with chia seeds; non-homogenized plain yogurt with organic blueberries, brewer’s yeast, and a green kombucha.

Lunch: Organic salad with quinoa. Another kombucha (either green or w/chia seeds). Maybe an organic coffee.

Dinner: Dreamfield’s pasta (has a great carb/protein ratio), another salad, maybe a sweet potato.

Treats: May include Annie’s bunnies crackers or Justine’s (or Paul Newman’s) dark chocolate bar w/peanut butter. Once in a blue moon French fries.

My drink: Unfiltered pearl sake; or organic wine.

Okay, END OF THE WORLD DAY MENU! WHOO-HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Note: This is what I realistically think I can handle in a single meal sitting).

Breakfast: An entire LARGE bag of Wise barbecue potato chips with rennetless wine cheese on every chip. A freshly baked bagel with thick honey mustard.

Lunch: Pasta (WHITE, not whole grain or low carb) with marinara sauce, and few pieces of Wonder Bread to dip in the sauce or a Fluffernutter sandwich on Wonder Bread.

Dinner: A vegetarian version of mu-shu, eating about four pancakes. A pack of Jolly Ranchers. And a couple White Russians.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?