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The Durian: King of the Fruits
by: Sophia

The durian isn’t so much a tourist attraction but rather something to experience if you’re ever in the neighbourhood. Its name comes from the Malay word “duri” which stands for thorns. It is an apt name as the durian fruit is covered in thorns and its not teeny tiny thorns that covers its exterior. Let’s just say it isn’t a fruit to toss around.


The durian is known as the “king of fruits” because of its large size, its thorn covered shell and its “unique” odour. The most distinctive characteristic of the fruit would be its odour. Some people might find it fragrant and others might just cringe at a single whiff. Its odour is strong and can fill up a room as quick as oxygen. A single durian will be enough to circulate around an entire house. It is an odour unlike anything else which explains why most people would call it either “unique” or “exotic”. But its somewhat pungent smell does not correspond with its taste so don’t be afraid by its smell. Many people have never tried it because they are put off by its smell.


The shell that surrounds the durian is green and thorny. Short of hacking it open with an axe, it is a pretty tough fruit to open. It is probably more appropriate to use a cleaver to chop it open. There is an art to opening a durian so its best to get the durian vendor to open it for you. They’ll be able to do it quickly and without ruining the condition of the fruit within.


Once open, you’ll be able to see the yellow flesh of the fruit all lined up in a row. The texture of the flesh is creamy like custard. Its taste can either be sweet or bitter. Some people prefer the sweet ones but it is the bitter ones that durian lovers search for. The most general way to describe the taste of a durian would be creamy with a hint of almonds. Even so, every durian has a different taste and it is in these inconsistencies that many find themselves wanting more. It is the search for the perfect durian.


There are many species of durians but you need not worry about the various species. The recommended (and probably the safest bet) species would be the D24. The D24 is creamy and bitter but its taste is not too strong so its good for beginners. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the durian, you can move on to other species. The durian has been used in many other culinary dishes. There’s durian flavoured ice cream, durian cake, durian biscuits and many other durian flavoured beverages.   


Some might say that it isn’t wise to eat durians along with coffee or alcoholic beverages. The belief has something to do with indigestion. It isn’t a proven fact though so just in case, its best to stay away from coffee and alcohol when eating durian. The fruit also has many warming properties so be sure to drink lots of water after eating durian. The durian fruit is best eaten fresh out of its shell so if you stumble across a durian stall, stop, take a whiff and enjoy.

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About The Author

Sophia, Writer for Malaysia
Sophia writes for Streetdirectory Malaysia. Robert J. Steiner manages & is an online gifts and flower site in Malaysia. Sophia is a music graduate from Trinity College London. In between classes, she still finds time to write movie and music reviews for various online and print publications. Now venturing into travel writing, she is able to blend both her passion for wordplay with her passion for travel. 

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