Another “exotic” fruit that I’ve yet to try on our journey to the top of the Raw Foods Pyramid is the durian…considered by some to be “king of fruits” because of its appearance and overpowering odor.

Durian, just like ambrosia, is a topic of debate for many reasons.

Suppoasedly the fruit seems at first to smell like rotten onions, but immediately you prefer it to all other food once you’ve tasted it.

 

 

 

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Characteristics

Availability…Durian can be found in Asian markets in the United States.

Odor…Durian  have a strong  odor….some considering it to have a pleasantly sweet fragrance…while others find the aroma very unpleasant odor—described as being similar to rotten onions, turpentine, pig manure, gym socks,. stale vomit, raw sewage, or skunk spray….and can be smelled from yards away.

In fact, the odor from a durian fruit lingers for several days and has even been banned from certain hotels, subways, airports, and other public transportation services in Southeast Asia  for this reason.

(That makes us all wanna go out and buy one ASAP, right?!)

Price…Prices of durians are relatively high compared with other fruits…typically ranging from $8 to $15 per fruit.

Rind…These oblong or round fruits range in color from green to brown…with pale yellow to red flesh, depending on the species…and have a thorn-covered rind.

Season…The durian is a seasonal fruit…typically available from June to August.

Size,,,The fruit can grow up to a foot long and six inches around…and typically weigh two to seven pounds. The flesh only accounts for about a fourth of the mass of the entire fruit.

Source…Thailand is ranked the world’s number one exporter of durian, producing around 700,000 tons of durian per year…400,000 tons of which are exported to mainland China and Hong Kong. Other countries that are major producers of the durian fruit are Malaysia and Indonesia. The fruit is extremely popular and loved by many in Southeast Asia.

Taste…To those who actually like this fruit, it supposedly tastes like almonds and has a custard-like texture…a uniquely tender and creamy texture…and is not acidic, overly sweet, or overly juicy.

 

 

 

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Nutritional Value

 
Calories 615 kJ (147 kcal)
 
Carbohydrates 27.09 g
Dietary fibre 3.8 g
 
Fat 5.33 g
 
Protein 1.47 g
 
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Vitamin A 44 IU
Thiamine (B1) 33% 0.374 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 17% 0.2 mg
Niacin (B3) 7% 1.074 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 5% 0.23 mg
Vitamin B6 24% 0.316 mg
Folate (B9) 9% 36 μg
Vitamin C 24% 19.7 mg
 
Minerals Quantity%DV
Calcium 1% 6 mg
Copper 10% 0.207 mg
Iron 3% 0.43 mg
Magnesium 8% 30 mg
Manganese 15% 0.325 mg
Phosphorus 6% 39 mg
Potassium 9% 436 mg
Sodium 0% 2 mg
Zinc 3% 0.28 mg
 
Other constituents Quantity
Water 65 g
Link to Full Report from the USDA National Nutrient Database
Units μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

 

 

 

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Uses

Durian can be used to make both sweet and savory dishes…sweet as in candy, ice cream,milkshakes, cappucino, candy, honey, cakes…savory as in soup, rice dishes, curry, fish.

 

 

 

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The How

Finding durian…Durian can be found in many Asian grocery stores.

Choosing…Look for light-colored spikes without any dark brown patches or bits of white between the spikes. Shake the durian to make sure that it doesn’t rattles. If it does rattle, the durian is is no longer good to eat. Avoid fruit with dry, shriveled stems.

Dealing with the odor…First run hot water through the durian skin to help remove the smell, Otherwise your hands will smell like durian for the rest of the day.

Cutting the fruit…Place the durian stem side down on a clean cutting surface. Use a large, sharp knife, to make a three inch cut through the thick skin on the top of the durian. Pull back the skin with your other hand as you cut..

Now lay the two halves down on the cutting board and remove the large “pods” of the fruit, using a spoon or your hands, Remove the large, inedible seeds.

Be careful handling the fruit. Its spikes can poke you.

Storing…Set the durians on the counter for a couple of days…or in the fridge wrapped in paper or plasticif you want to make them ripen less quickly. But be warned…if you do store them in the fridge, they will make your fridge (and everything in it stink.

Cooked durian will last a few days in the refrigerator in an airtight container….or in the freezer for up to three months.