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What is durian?

I hear it smells!

While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.

asked almost 6 years ago
12 answers 1969 views
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Sam is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

In Singapore most hotels will not allow you bring them inside.

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hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added almost 6 years ago

It's a tropical fruit, from SE Asia that is foul-smelling. Akin to rotting garbage. It's supposed to be delicious, if you can stomach the smell. That being said, Andrew Zimmern (of Bizarre Foods fame) almost vomited from eating it, and he'll eat just about anything.

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added almost 6 years ago

It smells like a cross between dirty gym socks and sewage with some rotting fish thrown in. That being said, it is supposed to be great in smoothies because it is a nutrient dense fruit and is very creamy. But I have never met anyone who has actually enjoyed their durian smoothie! And you can't bring durian on planes or in subways either.

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Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 6 years ago

I saw that episode. Have never smelled or tasted it but figured if Zimmern can't stomach it I'll stay away.

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added almost 6 years ago

And Juli Herman even wrote a poem about it and here are two of the stanza's:

Wafting aroma, strong and bold,
Releasing tales of young and old.
Pungent and putrid, revolting to some,
Yet delectably fragrant — how can that be?

A whiff chock-full of controversy,
Opinions riddled with fallacy.
Banned in places of fancy manners,
Lest it render people unconscious.

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added almost 6 years ago

Durian is a large spiky fruit - about the size of a cantaloupe (at some times of year you can find it in you local Chinatown), with sectioned lobes of creamy fruit surrounding large stones. It has, as others have said, a very pungent odor. Some people absolutely love it (I'm not one of them) - it's kind of like cilantro - either you love it or you hate it. I didn't barf when I ate it but I found the taste a mixture of garlic and bubble gum. People have told me that they feel a little bit drunk after eating a bunch of it - maybe due to some kind of fermentation?

Wholefoods user icon
added almost 6 years ago

There are some vivid clips on U Tube if you google durian that explore just how smelly this exotic fruit is.

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HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 4 years ago

yeah, the durian is quite smelly, but when you've grown up with it like I have, it just smells...well, like a durian. So it's not bad. Once you get used to the odor, the flesh of fruit is creamy and sweet almost like it was a custard.

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added over 4 years ago

I don't mean to be culturally insensitive, but I'm curious as to why anyone would eat anything that is just so foul smelling. And do we know what the smell comes from?

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added over 4 years ago

It is coined the King of Fruits (especially in South East Asia) and also known as "Smells like hell, tastes like heaven"!

I couldn't agree more! If you can get past the smell, the taste and texture is like no other. I like it creamy and a bit sweet. Most avid durian eaters would like it bitter and creamy.

For those who didn't try, I strongly suggest to go first for the real fresh fruit (not packed, not flavoured biscuits or cake).

The durian is meant to be appreciated as a fruit first and foremost. If you like it, you will like the pastries and cakes (not the other way around).
hope this helps!

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added over 4 years ago

I've tried durian in a number of ways: straight, in a smoothie, and a durian-flavored candy. No matter how it's served, I just can't like it. And the worst part about it? For hours after eating it, you have durian-flavored burps.

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