Dive Deep Into the World of Durian, The King of Fruits

By Muhammad Jodi Pratama | 16, Jun, 2022
Dive Deep Into the World of Durian, The King of Fruits

Durian is one of the most unique yet bizarre and surprisingly delicious tasting fruit that God has created. We’re currently entering the durian season, and it is no surprise that some of us would hunt them or even try them. With its popularity combined with some mixed reviews, here are some facts about durian and (for the newbies) ways to enter the world of durians. 


Why is it called “King of Fruits”

durian, the king of fruits

Image Credit: Pesce Huang on Unsplash

Durian or Durio zibethinus is an edible fruit that is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. The availability of Durian is fairly limited due to the number of edible species of durian, which only accounts for nine out of the thirty species. Due to its popularity, it is now available in most international markets with hundreds of varieties.

The durian is called the “king of fruits” due to its size and shape. The durian is humongous and is able to grow as large as 30 centimeters and weigh 3 kilograms! With its size, smell, and thorns (referring to “duri”), no wonder the fruit is called the king since it definitely exudes “king”-esque feels.


Full of Nutrition

Although might smell and look weird, do not be mistaken! Durian came with an astonishing number of nutrients. It is full of vitamins! Notably vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, and C to fulfill your daily intake. Aside from vitamins, durian is also full of minerals to fulfill your daily intake of copper, manganese, and potassium. So those rumors that durians are toxic and dangerous for your health? Is definitely a lie!

It is widely used in traditional medicines and is proven to be able to cure some diseases if consumed moderately according to most scientific research. It is proven to be able to prevent anemia, constipation, depression, keep the health of skin and bones, controlling blood sugar level, and others. Though, if you are currently pregnant, obese, or have several diseases, especially chronic ones such as diabetes, please proceed with caution and not overly consume durians since they are high in sugar content, fat, and calories. It is also advised to not consume durians alongside coffee and alcohol since it could lead to harmful conditions such as bad blood pressure, indigestion, and others.


The Taste

an opened ripe durian

Image Credit: Jim Teo on Unsplash

This is where the debate gets heated :). Durian’s flesh is sweet with almondy undertones and has a buttery rich custard texture. These optimal flavors could only be achieved in some variety of durian and stage of ripeness. The flesh is also usually associated with creamy cheesecake, caramel, and vanilla. Therefore, is suitable to be eaten raw or cooked in certain dishes.

However, we can not deny that with its heavenly flavor, durian have a stinky smell to it and is often hard to accept. With comments that it resembles gym socks or even onion and cheese, it is common for some to not enjoy durian especially due to the smell. This taste and smell are due to some compounds that are found in durian such as ethanol, methanol, ethyl methacrylate, etc. Therefore, for the first triers, you might want to expect that you are eating anything but fruit to make it acceptable. But once you get through the smell, you’ll realize how delicious durians are!


Some Real “Fun” Facts about Durians

a collection of durians

Image Credit: Jonny Clow on Unsplash

Did you know that:

  1. You are able to know the quality and ripeness of durian by hitting its shell and hearing the sound.
  2. Getting hit by a durian could cause serious damage, and could cause death due to its sharp thorn and the height of the tree.
  3. Scientists have been able to do some genetic mutation and create a spineless durian that is popularly known as “Durian Botak”.
  4. Sumatran elephants and tigers love durians.
  5. Due to the high demand for durians in China, has caused deforestation problems and caused the endangerment of Malayan tigers. 
  6. Due to the frequent inbreeding, present durians have a low genetic diversity due to inbreeding depression, and genetic drift. Yes, durians could also be depressed.
  7. The most expensive durian was sold for a whooping USD47,990.
  8. There’s actually a red-fleshed durian.
  9. Musang King has always had a wife, called Musang Queen (I am not joking).
  10. You can actually eat the durian seed after it is boiled, roasted, or even deep-fried. Do not eat the raw seed due to the cancer-causing substance and the obvious choking hazard.


How to Enjoy Durian (for newbies)

a durian seller that would help you in picking the right durian

Image Credit: Dave Weatherall on Unsplash

Either you like it, or hate it. Most of us would probably say that due to the taste and smell of durian. However, this stigma could be eliminated by following these steps:

  1. To not expect them to taste like fruits. Durians would never taste like your typical sweet, juicy, and fresh fruits. Instead, you should expect durians to resemble other foods such as cheese, powdered sugar with chives, whipping cream, or even caramelized onions. Therefore expecting something different would help you to be able to enjoy durian.
  2. Your first durian would determine how the world of durians works. Therefore choosing them according to your preferences would definitely help your first experience with durians. Some might want the sweeter ones, some might prefer the bitter ones, or even some like the dry ones instead of the creamier texture. So make sure that you seek help from the durian seller so that they can suit your palate while choosing them!
  3. Avoid overripe durians cause they would taste like vinegar and alcohol, yuck. Nasty and smelly. No words are needed to explain more about that.
  4. If you’re a picky eater, you might want to start from the safe dishes first before going raw. Durian pancakes, cheesecakes, souffles, cottage pies, or even ice cream might be the safest bet to start.

Make sure to “catch” your durians since the season is coming!

A young and inspired boy who is on his way to be a man. Jodi enjoys studying and writing under the moonlight and prefers calm ambience. He pours his love on travelling through HalalTrip.

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