A durian is a fruit with a strong smell. Many people do not like the smell, but its flavour is loved by some people, especially in Southeast Asia. Its flavour has been compared to custard.
Durian is large spikey fruit with a sulfuric smell. Almost everyone finds this fruit either repulsive or addictive. Few fall in between. Durian is rare in that it is a significant source of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
In Thailand, Durian is banned from many public areas because of the smell. Thailand’s Ministry of Health warns against eating more than two sections of durian per day, as people have occasionally been known to die from excessive durian intake. People are killed every year by durians falling from trees.
You can find durian at your local Asian market. A typical durian has 5 sections of fruit. When it is ripe, a seam should be visible down the outside of each section of the shell. To eat, pull apart along the shell seams and remove the yellow pod of fruit inside.
Durians are sold whole, or cut open and divided into segments, which are wrapped in clear plastic. The flesh is mostly eaten fresh, often out-of-hand. It is best after being well chilled in a refrigerator. Sometimes it is simply boiled with sugar or cooked in coconut water, and it is a popular flavoring for ice cream. Javanese prepare the flesh as a sauce to be served with rice; they also combine the minced flesh with minced onion, salt and diluted vinegar as a kind of relish; and they add half-ripe arils to certain dishes. Arabian residents prefer to mix the flesh with ice and sirup. In Palembang, the flesh is fermented in earthen pots, sometimes smoked, and eaten as a special sidedish.
The Health Benefits like
- Durian fruit helps lower cholesterol,
- A strong blood cleanser.
- Contains high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, known to alleviate anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and create feelings of euphoria, by raising levels of serotonin in the brain
- A good muscle builder. Contains high levels of soft proteins.
- Asian legends say that durian is a powerful aphrodisiac.
Durian flesh is canned in sirup for export. It is also dried for local use and export. Blocks of durian paste are sold in the markets. In Bangkok much of the paste is adulterated with pumpkin. Malays preserve the flesh in salt in order to keep it on hand the year around to eat with rice, even though it acquires a very strong and, to outsiders, most disagreeable odor. The unripe fruit is boiled whole and eaten as a vegetable.
The seeds are eaten after boiling, drying, and frying or roasting. In Java, the seeds may be sliced thin and cooked with sugar as a confection; or dried and fried in coconut oil with spices for serving as a side-dish.