Durian is certainly the most intimidating of all the fruits in Asia, earning it the title of “king of fruits.” Its exterior is bulky and downright frightening. Its jagged edge looks more like the gray, spiky ball from minesweeper than it does an actual fruit that one can eat. In addition to its rough exterior, its interior has yet to impress many of locals and foreigners with its potent and unpleasant stench.
Durian fruits have been described as smelling similar to everything from feet to trash and to even a gas leak, causing one college campus in Australia to be evacuated. The smell of this fruit is so strong that it is banned from many public places throughout Asia.
Durian is grown throughout Southeast Asia. In Thailand, it spots the eastern countryside, and the Kingdom is one of the biggest exporters of the fruit. Durian also grows in countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, and in some parts of the Philippines as well. Beloved throughout the region, you’ll find its presence in many Southeast Asian cities with entire fairs dedicated to its smelly existence. This culinary phenomenon is also one of the most expensive fruits to purchase, oftentimes keeping newbies from buying one for a taste test as to not waste money.
For those travelers to Southeast Asia who are afraid to try the fruit in its original state, there are many spinoffs of durian. From ice cream to coffee, globetrotters with adventurous taste buds are sure to find a variation that best suits their palate. To get a taste of the so-called “king of fruits,” here are ten ways you can devour some durian.
After graduating with a degree in journalism and mass communications, Kelly Iverson moved to Southeast Asia and has never looked back. While she explores the globe, she also explores its culinary realm, which led her to try the often dreaded durian.