After yesterday’s post about the queen of fruits, I’ve got to write about the king of fruits. Without any doubt this has to be the durian, a large, spiny fruit from a Malaysian tree that has the strongest odour a fruit can have.
It is not a fruit that I hate (sorry, I had to pick the title based on yesterday’s fruit love) but I know that many people can’t stand it. It’s odour is offensive to some people, there are many warning signs that you can’t take it on airplanes or into hotels (e.g. in Indonesia) because it can offend other people.
The fruit itself already looks very interesting. It is nicknamed the thorny fruit. It is football-sized with a hard skin that has spikes on the outside. You have to cut it open to reveal the soft and creamy flesh. Each individual fruit is divided into five compartments, each containing a brown seed set in the yellow flesh.
Growing on trees in moist, tropical climates throughout Southeast Asia, durians have a limited season and an extremely short shelf life. The trees themselves, sometimes as tall as 130 feet, are pollinated by bats. Three to four months later, the fruit, each weighing several pounds, plummets down, already reeking with its characteristic aroma. Because of the short duration of tasty ripeness, durians are expensive, and purchasing one is a solemn, smelly ritual: only by its smell can one determine whether a durian is truly ripe.
Durians are very popular in Asian countries, you can buy them fresh in supermarkets, chilled, in ice cream and desserts, or cooked with rice. There are also Durian candies that you can purchase here in Hong Kong. Personally, I like the taste and aroma, but only in small portions and not every day. What about you?