Infamous for its overpowering smell, the durian is a fruit that you either love or hate. This large fruit can grow up to 12 inches long and can weight up to three kilograms. It is covered in thorn-covered husk, with colors that range from green to brown. Durian grows in territories with tropical climate, and can be found in several countries in Southeast Asia, where it is called “The King of Fruits”.
A lot of people would not dare eat durian because of the distinctive, powerful smell. Even with the husk on, the odor of the fruit is still strong and penetrating. Some hotels and public transportation do not allow durian to be brought to their premises. But those who have experienced eating durian will tell you that being exposed to the smell is worth it once you tasted the fruit. British naturalist provided the following description of the durian in 1856. According to him, the pulp tastes like “rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience. …as producing a food of the most exquisite flavour it is unsurpassed”.
The addictive taste of durian spawned a profitable food industry in the Philippines and other Asian countries. There is durian ice cream, durian pastillas, durian salad and even durian chips. Those who cannot stand the smell of real durian fruit can still enjoy the unforgettable taste by eating these delicacies.
Thailand is the currently the top exporter of durian. Here in the Philippines, the Davao region is the prime source of the fruits. Every year, the Davao City holds The Kadayawan Festival, a celebration which features the durian.