Is This the Stinkiest Fruit in the World?
It tastes delicious though.
26 February 2017
Notoriety can be a way to success, case in point: The Kardashians. But controversies aren’t restricted to the human world only — just ask durians (if they could, they would nod vigorously).
This Southeast Asian ’King of the Fruits’ is as polarising as a fruit can get —banned from several airports and public places due to its strong pungent smell yet relished by thousands who would risk their olfactory glands just to devour the custardy flavour.
What are durians?
Large and thick with a thorn-like shell, durians are Southeast Asia’s prized fruits. They weigh between one to three kilogrammes — in hundreds of varieties. Although it's eaten across the world — some varieties are pricier than others, often going up to $600 a pop.
Durians smell bad. And when we say bad, we mean dirty-gym-socks-stuffed-with-rotten-meat-and-onions bad. This spiky pungent fellow has caused evacuations in hospitals, shopping malls and buildings. It’s banned on Singapore’s subways and rail networks as well as at several international airports and public places in Southeast Asia.
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But those who can get past the mind-numbing odour can then savour a custardy flesh that tastes somewhat like a ripe banana dipped in soft cheese. There are hints of dark chocolate and salt. It’s savoury and sweet — almost ambrosial.
Should you try a durian?
Not all durians smell awfully bad. But curious eaters say the more offensive the smell, the tastier the fruit gets.
This reminds us of cheese. Has the ungodly odour of ripe cheese ever stopped you from eating other types —no, right? Then, why change the rules? Take the plunge, put some nose plugs on and try a less smelly durian.
Just remember to do it in the garden or at least with all the windows flung open.