Durian ทุเรียน Durio zibethinus
Weighing in at around 4 pounds and 1 foot long and 6 inches wide this ovoid, thorn-covered fruit looks more like something that would be dropped out of a B-52 at high altitude rather than fetch top dollar in the markets of Southeast Asia.
You either love Durian or hate it. Most locals love it and most Westerners can’t believe that anyone could eat such a foul smelling mistake of nature. Obviously, those here don’t care what the Farangs think as Durian is one of the most popular fruits in Thailand.
To quote the two sides of the controversy:
In 1856, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace provides a much-quoted description of the flavour of the Durian:
“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 acid 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.”
But travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:
“No durians … its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.”
And Anthony Bourdain, while a lover of Durian, relates his encounter with the fruit as thus:
“Its taste can only be described as…indescribable, something you will either love or despise. …Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”
Try it (durian) out once in your life.
(Source frangipani com)