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Ever wondered what that musky tang is in the air at markets in your local Chinatown? Thats the durian - the fruit that tastes like heaven and smells like hell. Banned on public transport in the Far East, the delicious fruit unfortunately smells like a sewer. Eating some will give you bowel breath for hours.
Durian is an expensive fruit. One durian fruit is five to six times larger than a mango. Its skin is thick, rough, and covered with sharp thorns. With a gentle cut between the edges of the outer shell, you can easily open the fruit to expose the layers of bright yellow segments of meat that make the pulp look like it is covered with a thin layer of butter.
The durian season is May though October.
Literature writer Mai Van Tao once wrote about the particularly good smell of the durian.
"The dense fragrance which spreads near and far, lingers a long time before disappearing. The strong smell can go straight to your nostrils, even though you are still several meters away from the fruit. The fragrance of durian is a mixture of smells which come from a ripening jackfruit and that of a shaddock. It can also be compared to the strong smell of foreign-made cheese and is rich as a hen's egg. Others describe the fruit as sweet as well-kept honey. All things considered, durian has a special tempting smell. Those who have not enjoyed the fruit before may find it hard to eat. But once they have tried it, they are likely to seek it again," he wrote.
Some visitors are deterred by the potent smell and never actually sample the creamy golden flesh hidden within the spiny exterior - thereby missing one of the truly great pleasures of fruit eating.
Another bit of durian lore:
Common Names: Durian.
Scientific Name: Durio zibethinus Murray
Description olive-green or gray-yellow, creamy yellow flesh, 6 large yellow-brown seeds, spines, up to 10 lbs., ovoid, foul odour.
Origin: Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam.
Comments: Host for mealybugs.
Other articles about Durian Fruit:
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