The durian is a perfectly unique tropical fruit!
You can’t compare it to a soursop or a jackfruit although both fruits have similar shape, size and husk colour to the durian. Durian is exquisite! There is no fruit in the world just like it!
“King of Fruits” vs pretenders
The durian is totally awesome with its thorny husk and smooth and creamy yellow flesh, strongly exotic taste, and sharply aromatic smell. However, the durian is often referred to as a controversial fruit. You either love it or hate it! Thomas Fuller from The New York Times describes the durian as “a polarizing and controversial fruit” and durian lovers “will travel terrible distances, cancel important appointments — do
anything — to scarf down globs of custardy flesh from a durian“.
Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, hated the durian because he found the smell of durian nauseating and gave him a headache. Many durian detractors also complained that it smells like garbage, moldy cheese, rotting fish, rotting onions, dirty socks, bile, or vomit. The odour is so strong and pervasive that public transport such as the train do not allow passengers to bring durian into its carriages. Even the best hotels prohibit guests from bringing durian into their rooms.
A warning sign on board the Singapore MRT.
But, the proof is in the eating. What the famous 19th century naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace, said after he ate his first durian in Borneo:
“A rich, butter-like custard highly flavored with almonds, but intermingled with wafts of flavor that call to mind cream cheese, onion sauce, brown sherry and other incongruities. The more you eat of it, the less you feel inclined to stop.”
|D24 – an opened durian fruit|
Wallace loved it. And millions of people, especially in the southeast Asian region love this perfectly unique and engrossing tropical fruit.
I love durians. My siblings, children and grandchildren love durians. Many of my relatives, friends and neighbors love durians. We love durians! After all, durian originated from this region a long, long time ago.
|Durian drawing by my 4-year-old grandson|
What Malaysians say about the “King of Fruits”
(Source: New Straits Times, June 26, 1990)
|Click picture to enlarge|
What Other People Say About The Durian
The durian is not just limited to this region. Modern communication and travel have help spread the demand for durian all over the world. Durian lovers can be found in Japan, Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan. Durian fans can also be found in Australia, USA, Canada and Europe. If you haven’t tried the durian before, here’s How to Love Durian On Your First Bite…
|Americans love durians. Here is a cute and cool definition from a popular CBS TV series|
Durian and Smells of Empire
Dr. Daniel Bender teaches humanities courses at the University
of Toronto. A
historian, Dr. Bender ranges his focus on the histories of working class
populations, the study of American culture, trans-nationalism, animal
studies, and food history. Among his research focuses is the
concept of cultural experience as
visions into the non-Western world. In the following video, he talks about the smell of the durian on the social, racial, and cultural differences of the local people and outsiders who came for the “rite of passage” or “to conquer” the exotic fruit. He also expounded on the “many ways durian smell” and phrases such as “running amok”; culinary tourism or “eating the other”; and imperial colonists.
Singapore Scientists Has Complete Genetic Map of The Durian
Durian has about 46,000 genes and that is double the genes humans have.
Durian (Durio zibethinus) is a Southeast Asian tropical plant
known for its hefty, spine-covered fruit and sulfury and onion-like
odor. Here we present a draft genome assembly of D. zibethinus,
representing the third plant genus in the Malvales order and first in
the Helicteroideae subfamily to be sequenced. Single-molecule sequencing
and chromosome contact maps enabled assembly of the highly heterozygous
durian genome at chromosome-scale resolution. Transcriptomic analysis
showed upregulation of sulfur-, ethylene-, and lipid-related pathways in
durian fruits. We observed paleopolyploidization events shared by
durian and cotton and durian-specific gene expansions in MGL (methionine γ-lyase), associated with production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). MGL and the ethylene-related gene ACS
(aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase) were upregulated in
fruits concomitantly with their downstream metabolites (VSCs and
ethylene), suggesting a potential association between ethylene
biosynthesis and methionine regeneration via the Yang cycle. The durian
genome provides a resource for tropical fruit biology and agronomy.
|Common sight – a durian orchard or dusun along the highway|
|Durian stalls displaying durians of all shapes and sizes|
In Malaysia, the durian is the most popular tropical fruit and is affectionately referred to as the “King of Fruits”. In the past, you have to wait patiently for the durian season to arrive to enjoy this delicious fruit. But, nowadays, you can eat durians to your hearts content almost all year round. Here are some durian varieties that are not only popular in Malaysia but are the favourites of Singaporeans.
|Durians of all shapes and sizes for durian lovers|
|Window to the delicious world of the durian|
You can find durians on sale almost everywhere in the country: supermarkets, fresh markets, fruit stalls, shop-houses, roadside stalls, stalls-on-wheels, etc.
|Durians at a fruit stall|
|A roadside durian stall at a housing estate|
|Delivering fresh durian fruits for sale|
|The popular D197 – Musang King displayed outside an organic food shop.|
|Thornless durians? Is it real or a gimmick to attract curious buyers?
Yes, we do have a thornless durian that looks like a ‘sukun’ or bread-fruit.
It’s D172 known as Durian Botak from Tangkak, Johor and registered on 17 June, 1989
In some coffee-shops, durian sellers bring the fruit to your table while you are having your favorite kuey-teow, nasi lemak or roti canai.
|Pre-pack fresh durians at supermarkets|
Local durians are the best but you can also get some good quality durians from neighboring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines. If you haven’t tasted durian before, try it! You be the judge once you have tasted it. Different durian flavours.
|Fresh Frozen Durian in boxes at the supermarket|
|Enjoying his durians as a dessert|
Many SE-Asian people acquired their taste for durian while young and my love affair with this unique fruit started while I was still a toddler. Most people, including westerners, who have eaten good quality durian become lifelong addicts.
|Introduction to local fruits – durian, rambutan and mangosteen|
|A little boy looks perplexed among adults enjoying the durians|
See how Arsenal Footballers react to durian when they visited Singapore.
International students taking the durian challenge….
This blog is all about the durian. I like to share whatever durian information and experiences about the durian that I have gathered while I was working with the Department of Agriculture. I am not a durian expert or durian farmer. I’m just a retiree spending most of my time with my grandson and I enjoy surfing the internet during my free time. I love durians and enjoy them whenever I can. You’ll too if you start it right. And I’ll show you how.
|A couple of old traditional durian trees in a village|
|Exquisite fruit – a delight to your senses|
|Durianfest VII at Subang Jaya Summit – 22 June 2014
Eat Durian for Charity is Back
How To Choose A Good Durian
Read more on the famous durians from Penang here.
* Penang Durians
* Durian Terms in Penang Hokkien
Durianinfo has only one post on the home page. All information about the durian is presented in pages.
Please see my Pages on the top right-hand column for the various topics on durian that I have posted. I have added a new page on durian videos posted on YouTube. Some of them may not be in your spoken language(s) but they are very informative and I’m sure you’ll get the message or idea in these videos.
You can also go to my video playlists on YouTube for more information and entertainment on durians.
This blog is an on-going project and I will add relevant topics as the need arises.
Meantime, you can leave your comments and I’ll be very happy to do what I can. Do come back and visit soon.
Last update: 19 Tuesday December 2017