What the Hell is… Durian?

Staff Writer
What the Hell is… Durian?

I’ll be honest. Most of you probably won’t be trying durian any time soon. Most of you probably don’t want to, either. Durian is known for its pungent smell and spiky outer-shell, not particularly for its taste. Durian produces a sharp odor both during growth and after its shell is opened. Each fruit weighs around five pounds and can grow up to a foot long.

Photo by Polycarp Norbert Nyulin on Flickr

Photo by Polycarp Norbert Nyulin on Flickr

While not well-known in the United States, durian is fairly common in Southeast Asian cuisine, especially in desserts. If you’re ever in Indonesia, give durian ice cream a try. If you’re looking to explore durian’s more savory side, head over to Thailand and chow down on some sticky rice with fresh durian. Even from the comfort of your own home, you could try this durian smoothie! It’s also sold as a paste which can be added to a variety of cookies, puddings, and shakes. Although a little difficult to find, look for the paste  in Asian supermarkets.

Durian is actually quite versatile, cooking-wise. You can choose to eat its flesh or its seeds, ripe or unripe, and cooked or uncooked. Some people even use durian as an ingredient in baked goods. Check out this durian pound cake or these durian puffs. All in all, the durian may become your new go-to fruit. Unfortunately, carrying a big, heavy durian out of the dining halls instead of an apple might cause a bit of a spectacle. Once people get over the smell, of course.

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