When you have people driving from Sydney to Canberra just for an ice-cream, you know you're onto a good thing.
Over the Easter break, one would have thought the flavour du jour at Braddon's Frugii Dessert Lab would be chocolate. Instead, it was their latest offering, durian ice-cream.
Not one to shy away from bold and quirky flavours, Mr Frugii aka John Marshall said he'd been thinking about attempting durian-flavoured ice-cream for some time but had trouble sourcing the fruit – and also wasn't sure how it would go down with customers.
"I'm all about creating ice-cream using natural flavours, not pastes and powders, and I'm fascinated by different flavours, tastes and textures," he said.
"Durian was just one of those things, and I kept trying to get a fresh durian but it was too hard. But just before Easter I was able to source frozen durian."
The fruit, which is a favourite in south-east Asia, is renowned for its strong odour. To mitigate the pungent smell, the ice-cream is served on sticks and covered in a jelly which manages to keep the smell in. The first batch used a lychee jelly, although Marshall is planning to change this to citrus for future batches.
Frugii Dessert Lab sold 86 of the durian ice-creams in just two days, and Marshall said they'd been surprised with its popularity.
"We've had a 99.9 per cent success rate. Some people say 'yuk' – it's not everyone's cup of tea," he said.
"But we've even had groups of people coming down from Sydney just to get their hands on them. And people were buying boxes of them, seven or eight at a time."
The first batch of durian ice-creams sold out, but Marshall has more frozen durian on order and expects to have more ice-creams available by the weekend.