Everything You Need to Know About Durian

We know how some people are frenzy and fanatical when when it comes to durian but is what is that everything else that we need to know? Here is another good read by Helen Trickle who has previously blogged as a guest here on Foodeverywhere. This article is plenty of what else you don’t know about durian.

There are over 400 different varieties of the Durian: 300 of these are native to Thailand, whilst 100 of these are native to Malaysia. The Durian that is grown in Malaysia is the most prized variant, and this ‘king of fruits’ is also often called the world’s most divisive fruits. The Malaysian Musang King is left to ripen naturally on the tree, and then caught by nets just above the ground so that the taste is as strong and distinctive as possible. Here we explore everything you need to know about the durian, and discover why this fruit has a reputation that follows it all around the world:

Experiencing Durian Outside of Malaysia

Durian reached British supermarket shelves for the first time in 2014 where it received plenty of press thanks to its distinctive smell: The Guardian newspaper described its smell as being like ‘rotten smelly onions’. Other people have likened the smell to being like rotting meat or gym socks that have been worn for several workouts. Its distinctive smell makes exporting the fruit difficult: it cannot be transported via commercial airliner thanks to the most recent rules surrounding transporting fruits through airport security. The fruit is also banned on Singapore’s rail network and from dozens of hotels in South-East Asia. In order to ensure that the Musang King Durian makes its way to the UK, it is vacuum packed the same day that it is pick. This will secure the smell inside the packaging until the vacuum is opened: the fruits are then transported via freight provider and protected by suitable transit insurance, until they reach the UK, and the London store that sells them. From this point, you’re on your own; open the fruit in the garden or in a well-ventilated area to avoid suffering with the smell for weeks after you’ve eaten the fruit!

Why Do People Love Durian?

With such a negative reputation for its distinctive smell then, why do people love Durian? And why have Malaysians crowned it the King of Fruits? The flesh of the fruit has an ambrosial, custardy quality. In terms of both its texture and taste, the durian is often compared to other tropical fruits, the coconut and the banana. Whilst the smell of the fruit is decidedly savoury, the taste of the flesh is very sweet which is appealing to individuals with a sense of adventure and a refined palette. Sweet and very creamy is the best way to describe the taste and texture of the durian flesh. Durian is a must-try for food lovers, and can be used in a wide variety of different recipes, from ice cream to risotto. However true durian lovers (and its important to remember that Malaysia is a nation of durian devotees) simply choose the eat the flesh straight from the spiky husk, and they simply can’t get enough of it. Outside of Asia, durian is an underutilised fruit, and it is exciting to see its worldwide popularity rising. Durian makes a wonderful dessert, thanks to its vitamin rich health properties, whilst still tasting sweet and rich, ideal for conventional sugar addicts. Much like the avocado though, the durian is also high in fat and carbohydrates, meaning that it should be an occasional treat rather than a daily indulgence. Finally, it’s important to note that if you do choose to indulge in a large plate of creamy durian, you should never consume alcohol alongside it: researchers have discovered that the sulfur compounds in durian affect the way in which the body metabolizes alcohol, meaning that your body will react very badly to the alcohol when it is consumed in conjunction with durian. Keep the two indulgences separate. Still not convinced to take the plunge and try durian? Just do it already! Whilst the fruit is divisive, you may be lucky enough to fall into the camp of people that would walk a hundred miles for a taste of its delicious flesh. And if you don’t, then all is not lost: you may well find that the taste grows on you as your palette changes and matures. If at first you don’t succeed then try again: the taste of this delicious fruit is well worth perseverance.

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