The Durian: King of Fruits

The durian is truly an extremely unusual fruit, referred to as the king of fruits.  The durian is known for its humongous size, interesting odor, and an outer husk covered in spikes that are able to draw blood.  Each fruit can even weigh up to 10 pounds.  There are many varieties of durian – the outer husk can be many shades of green and brown, and the inner flesh may range from the palest hint of yellow to deep yellow, or even red.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the durian is its distinctive odor, a very interesting, and, to some people, disgusting, smell.  The smell is very strong and can even penetrate the outer husk.  While many find the smell of the durian overpowering and even disgusting, some people think the aroma is fragrant.  This smell evokes different feelings in different people, with some even feeling great appreciation for the fruit.  The smell is impossible to describe, and can only be truly known when one smells it.  Some people say the durian’s smell is like unlit gas, smelly socks, rotten onions, almonds, or turpentine.  I myself have tried to eat the durian on numerous trips, but have not gotten far past the smell.

Durians
The durian, the king of fruits

As far as the taste goes, the durian is simply amazing if you are able to rely on your taste rather than your smell.  The durian’s flesh is sweet and creamy, somewhat like a custard.  The soft flesh melts in your mouth slowly.  Like the durian’s smell, the taste is quite difficult to describe.  Some say it tastes like a melon, a bit of pineapple, a range of fruits, and a hint of dairy sourness.  Anyways, you’ll never know until you try it, but the durian’s taste is known to be sublime.

The durian, which is grown on large trees in Southeast Asia, has been known to the Western world for many centuries.  In the 19th century, famous British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described the durian’s flesh as “a rich custard highly flavored with almonds.”

As far as preparation goes, the durian’s flesh can be eaten at many stages of ripeness.  The large seeds of the durian can also be eaten after they are cooked.  If you are not able to resist the smell of the durian, there are many other products available to try, such as durian-flavored ice cream, candy, and more.  However, for some, you may not be able to find these products locally.

Durians are known to provide many nutrients and health benefits – they contain great amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and an amino acid called tryptophan, which provides carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  Many raw food advocates recommend the durian as a source of raw fats.  Durians have also been used for ages in traditional medicines of the southeast Asian people.

It’s very difficult to find fresh durian in Western markets, so try getting some freeze-dried durian online, which packs in all the health benefits that fresh durian provides.  King Fruit – Vacuum Freeze Dried Durian Fruit – 3.5 Oz (Monthong Chunk) – No Oil, No Wheat, No Gluten

Further reading

  1. Durian

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