The Durian

Tropical Fruit


The durian is a relatively large fruit with a thorn-covered husk, strong odour that can still penetrate through this outer shell, and is known as the king of fruits in southeast Asia. Durians are oftentimes oblong to round in shape and range in colors from green and brown to yellow and red. Many describe the smell of the durian as smelling like turpentine, raw sewage, or rotten onions, while others find the smell of the durian to be a pleasant aroma. People most often say that durians taste sweet and savory and that the taste is quite contradictory to the aroma that they gives off.

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Durians are rich in dietary fiber and have an ample amount of vitamin-C ranging from 33-35%. They are also are regarded as a rich source of potassium which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Although the durian is rich in fat, it is free of saturated fats and cholesterol.

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Cooking Methods

Durians are oftentimes used when making deserts such as ice cream or gelato. In many Asian countries, however, durians can be seen being used to make baked goods such as pancakes or pastries. They can also be used to create sauces after being mixed and having the flavors melted into butter and oil. Durian sauce can be also used on dessert if the fruit is made into a coulis. Other uses of the durian can include frying the inside flesh of the durian with other vegetables to give meals a sweetened flavor.

Historical Facts

The durian was originally named to mean "thorny fruit," and the fruit certainly lives up to its name. Durians were formed from the Malvaceae which is a plant that is in the same family as the okra, hibiscus, and cotton tree family. Southeast Asians refer to the durian as "King of Fruits" due to its size, odour, and thorned husk. Thirty species of this Durio fruit exist today in southeast Asia, however, only nine of these thirty species are edible. In Japan, the Japanese believe that the durian is an aphrodisiac and rules have been established to determine when people are allowed to consume the fruit.