The secrets of the durian, the stinkiest fruit in the world that many consider a delicacy
They call it the most smelly fruit in the world, to the point that it is banned in hotels and airplanes. But also the Queen of Fruit, and it’s Singapore’s “official” fruit. What does the durian have that leaves no one indifferent?
Like the octopus, the durian, also called durion The drilling, it seems to come from another planet. On the outside it is green or brown and full of thorns, but on the inside it has a tasty yellowish pulp, and a huge orange seed. And it is as big as a pineapple. But its main characteristic is its unbearable bad smell.
Native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo, is grown throughout Southeast Asia, with Thailand being its largest international exporter. There are about 30 species of durium, very different from each other. Some even bear square fruit! But only 9 are edible, and only one, the Durio zibethinus, is marketed outside of Asia.
The bad smell of durian is hard to describe. Some say it smells like garbage or rotten onion, to the point that many people can only eat it if they hold their noses. In Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong there are posters that prohibit its consumption in hotels or public transport, because its bad smell lasts for hours.
Despite this, it is a widely consumed fruit, in many different ways. In the previous photo we can see it in the form of a cake called mochi durian. It is eaten, of course, raw, and also in the form of French fries. Its seed is also eaten roasted.
As our colleague Andrea Núñez-Torrón tells us in TICbeat, its name comes from the Malay word duri, which means thorn, with the suffix -an. to create pronouns). Your translation would be prickly fruit.
IF it smells so bad, why do people eat it? It has a texture similar to avocado and an aggressive flavor that for many it is a delicacy, and for others it is unbeatable. But the most important thing is that on a nutritional level it is a treasure. It provides iron, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, zinc, niacin, B6, vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamine and calcium, it has actibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, it is abundant in dietary fiber, it is good for the skin and reduces pressure arterial.
As we discussed at the beginning, it is the national fruit of Singapore. They have even built a majestic building, the Esplanade Theater in Marina Bay, which is shaped like a durian split in half:
In Spain you can buy it in some select greengrocers, although it is not easy to find. It’s more common in the form of seeds to plant, cook, or use as bonsai.