Durian is one of the most controversial fruits. Dubbed “King of Fruits”, durian is famous for tasting like heaven and smelling like hell. According to Alexander Hamilton (Scottish Sea Captain 1689-1723) “The Durian is an excellent fruit, but offensive to some people’s noses, for it smells very like human excrement, but when once tasted, the smell vanishes.”
The fruit’s taste is delicate, sweet-acid, and the pulp seems to melt in the mouth. But it leaves the same sort of aftertaste as chewing on a whole clove-of garlic. English novelist Anthony Burgess, in fact, has said that dining on durian is a lot like eating vanilla custard in a latrine.
The smell of the inside of the durian is so strong that some hotels bar guests from bringing it into their hotel room. It can be smelled from yards away. Apparently this fruit is notorious for it’s bad smell, to the point where it is actually banned in some public places. But durian lovers ï¿½ and there are many, at least in Asia ï¿½ are convinced that like fine French cheeses, the worse the smell, the better the taste.
The durian is high in fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins. The durian is also said to have heating qualities, which keep its eaters warm at night. Durian is not recommended for consuming with alcoholic beverages, as the combination of natural substances is a powerful producer of internal gas. Durian is probably one of the most nutritious fresh fruit. It’s also rumored that durian is a tonic to the lungs and digestive system.
Although durian is grown all over Southeast Asia, many durian fans will agree that Thai durians are the best in the world. The Thai variety of cultivated durian is very large, as big as an American football. The most popular variety is called “Mon Thong”, literally “Golden Pillow”. A slightly stronger tasting and less fleshy Thai variety of durian is Chanee. The most delicate in taste, less smell, rare and more expensive variety is Garn Yao.
In Thailand, durian is one of the fruits with the highest export value. Besides consumption as a fresh fruit, durian is also processed into various products such as chips, French fries, sugary cakes, candies and a flavoring powder in ice cream, biscuits, and others including a main ingredient of Thai cuisine recipes. The thrill of the Thai durian is a different pleasure than wild Indiana blackberries, an annual rite of summer.