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Durian – the "Queen of Fruits" makes a stench

People in Asia love their durian, even if it is a bit smelly.

Exceptional taste with extra energy

The durian fruit has an extraordinary taste – a mixture of vanilla pudding, almonds and roasted onions, with a touch of cream cheese. In addition, the fruit delivers many health-benefits; it contains provitamin A, B vitamins and vitamin C, antioxidant flavonoids and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and iron. Since its carbohydrate content is relatively high, it also provides you with an extra burst of energy.

Background information

The durian is the fruit of the zibet tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. The brown-green to yellow-brown fruits have an oval to round shape and can be up to 30 cm long and 25 cm wide. They can weigh up to around three kilograms. The name is derived from the Malaysian word "duri" for sting or thorn, because the outside is covered by thick spines. The ripe fruits fall from the tree and are collected for sale on local markets. By contrast, fruit destined for export must be cut with the stalk on just before it ripens and carefully packaged for transport. A ripe fruit gives off such an unpleasant foul smell – think rotting meat and sweaty socks – that it is banned by some airlines and taxi drivers and by Singapore’s mass transit system. Many hotels and public buildings don’t encourage you to eat it on the premises, for fear of offending the sensitive noses of tourists.

Don’t forget the "Shake Test"

Anyone who wants to experience this new taste and smell will find the fruit all year round in Asian shops. Make sure the skin is intact. In addition to the smell, the shake test is another indication that the fruit is ripe – with ripe fruit, the pulp separates from the skin and rattles in the chambers. Durian fruits spoil quickly and should therefore be eaten quickly. Wear sturdy gloves to protect your hands from the spines. Cut the fruit in half with a sharp knife and then break it apart at the seams. Durian tastes best fresh, on its own or mixed with other fruit in a fruit salad. But you can also turn it into ice cream, fruit sauces or chutney. In Asia, durian is often cooked and served as a side-dish. The kernels are also edible and are often roasted to make a tasty snack. 

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.bzfe.de