Time to talk all about the Durian fruit. If you follow this blog, you know I love tasting and trying fruits from around the world. Next up is the Durian fruit, also known as the “King of Fruits” in Southeast Asia and the “World’s smelliest fruits.”
This fruit is so smelly that some parts of Southeast Asia have banned it from hotels and public transportation. The saying goes, “It smells bad, but tastes good!”
In this article, you will learn where the Durian fruit comes from, where it grows, what the health benefits are, how to eat it, and what it tastes like to me. Of course, the taste is subjective, but I will try and give you as good a description as possible. Let’s get started!
Where does the Durian fruit come from and grow?
The Durian is the fruit from several different tree species. There isn’t just one type of Durian. This fruit is native to parts of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia.
The trees are very large and can grow between 75 and 160 feet depending on the type. The foliage/leaves are evergreen.
While native to Indonesia, it is grown any many tropical and subtropical areas. Some notable countries are Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Australia. Here in the United States, it can be grown in Hawaii and Florida.
Most of the time, here in the United States you will find Durian fruit in the local Asian supermarket.
Lots of times they will come in mesh bags which makes them easier to carry since they are heavy and covered in very sharp spikes. Most likely the supermarket will freeze them each day, and place them out on the market floor to be sold. Those that aren’t sold will be frozen again.
Here in the US, they are pretty expensive. A small Durian will cost $15 to $18! The common variety found at my local Asian Market is the Durian Monthong which is also a “sweet durian” variety. Those in the picture above came from Vietnam.
What are the health benefits of the Durian fruit?
The durian fruit is one of the most nutritious fruits in the world. They seriously pack a powerful punch. It could also be classified as a super fruit.
Each cup of the flesh contains approximately:
- 357 calories
- 13g Fat
- 66g Carbs
- 4g Protein
- 9g Fiber
- High in Vitamin C nearly 80% of daily recommended amount.
- High in other essential vitamins and minerals like, Thiamine, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Riboflavin, Copper, Folate, Magnesium, and Niacin.
- Rich in healthy plant compounds
- Reduces cancer risk
- Prevents heart disease
- Lowers blood sugar
The durian fruit truly is a remarkably healthy fruit to eat.
NOTE: Durian should not be consumed at the same time as alcohol, it can cause problems, like nausea and vomiting.
For more health benefits you can visit Healthline and search for Durian.
How to Eat Durian?
If the market that you buy it from freezes it like mine, then you will want to first thaw the Durian fruit out. Don’t leave it on the counter, allow it to thaw out slowly in the fridge. Then in the morning take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature.
Now you can remove it from the mesh bag that it came in if it came in one.
Each Durian is made up of compartments. If you look at the bottom of it, you can see the lines that each compartment makes. Take a knife and cut shallow slits along two of those lines, one opposite of each other.
If the durian is really ripe, the bottom may already have cracked a little bit, which makes it super easy to just pull it apart. Some people don’t even use a knife, they just dig right in and pull it open. I am a wimp, so I use a leather gardening glove to hold the fruit while cutting it.
Once you make your slits you can now grab the fruit and pull it open. You can even keep wearing the gloves at this point if you want.
Once you pull it apart you will reveal two of the cavities or compartments. Each fruit will have 4 to 7 compartments. To me when you first open it, it looks like a set of lungs, haha.
I also think it looks like a little alien or something that comes out of the ground like a grub.
And the smell! If you are lucky, they may not stink as much. I have found that the ones that are frozen whole and thawed and frozen again, don’t smell too bad at all, like the one in the pictures of this post wasn’t smelly at all. But, don’t let that fool you. These really do stink, especially fresh ones that haven’t been frozen.
Now grab the flesh and eat it.
What does durian fruit taste like?
You eat the yellowish to whitish flesh around the seeds. The seeds can be boiled and eaten as well, similar to how you eat jackfruit seeds.
Commonly it is just picked up and eaten fresh, some people wear latex gloves because it is a bit messy. You can juice it, add it to soups, make ice cream with it, as well as other desserts.
The taste is quite unique. To me, durian fruit tastes like a mixture between scrambled eggs and flan, haha. Or if you took fat from a steak and blended it with custard and flan, or something like that. It is sweet and the texture is like a very ripe soft creamy avocado.
I have also heard it compared to cheese, almonds, garlic, and caramel, or onions. But I don’t get that taste with the Durian Monthong variety.
I can see how off-putting this fruit can be for some people, and it would probably taste better to people if the fruit didn’t smell so bad.
If you like flan a lot then I think you will like this fruit. If you don’t like flan or custard, then I am guessing this won’t appeal to you.
There you go an in-depth look at the Durian fruit aka “The King of Fruits” and “The smelliest fruit in the world.”
Check out the video I made about this fruit here:
Here are some other fruits and recipes you may be interested in: