The Durian: King of Fruits
Durian fruit is native to Southeast Asia. It is sold in markets all over the East-Asian world and also imported into the United States and Europe. People have differences in preferences regarding ripeness, while some like slightly ripen, tart flavored durians, others may prefer to cherish soft, and over-ripened. Usually, ripe fruit that falls off the tree is gathered and sold at markets.
Outside its natural habitat, durian is one of the expensive fruits; some of its varieties are in high demand and therefore, may command higher price. The fruit can also be stored inside the refrigerator for few days.
The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions.
Regarded by many people in southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”, the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.
The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.
Contrary to popular belief, you will not have a big spike in your cholesterol level after eating a durian. In fact, this king of fruits has good monounsaturated fats that can actually lower your harmful cholesterol levels and moderate your high blood pressure.
But feasting on this highly nutritious fruit will certainly not benefit your waistline. A durian can have anywhere from 885 calories to 1,500 calories depending on its size. Durians may be a very good source of nutrients, but they are also high in calories and carbohydrates and thus must be consumed with moderation.
The heatiness in the durian may cause your body temperature to rise, but this does not make the fruit an aphrodisiac.
Despite the myths associated with the durian, it remains a highly prized fruit.
The durian is a highly nutritious fruit which, when eaten in moderation, will provide the body with many minerals, vitamins and good fats. Eating two to three seeds of durian at one sitting is sufficient, but because durians can become so addictive, people tend to eat more than they should.