Young Pioneer Tours

7 things you need to know about durian: the world’s stinkiest snack!

If you’ve ever been to Southeast Asia you will have seen the signs that say “no smoking”, and “no durian” with a big red cross against consumption of this rather controversial of fruits!

I’ve previously written about the differences between durian and jackfruit, but here are my top 7 facts about what makes this smelly fruit so damned unique!

Durian stinks

It is not a myth that durian tastes amazing (it truly does), but holy crap does it stink to high heaven. It is a strong rancid smell that lasts long after the fruit has gone, and your hands are gonna reek for a while if you so much as hold it. In fairness it at least tastes nice, and is better smelling than hakarl.

Durian is delicious

Fresh durian is pulled open in Borneo.

Basically you suck the custard-like juice off of the interior of the seed. Durian can have numerous different grades and taste levels. In my personal opinion it is best when picked fresh from falling to the ground in Borneo.

There’s other durian stuff

Durian candy, durian ice-cream, and even durian pizza all exist. Back in my Yangshuo days we would refer to people as a durian pizza, someone who was either loved or hated. It amused us. FYI I freaking love durian pizza.

Durian is banned in a LOT of places

Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia all ban durian on public transport. If you do get to smell it you will understand why. I can personally think of not much greater a hell then being stuck with sweaty people and rotting durian.

Durian is a superfruit

We’ll I always have a little scepticism with these things, but apparently durian is stacked with a ton of vitamin C, potassium and fibre. It must stink, but it is very good for your health at least!

There’s multiple types of durian

Apparently there’s over 30 types of durian throughout South-East Asia, all of which has its own unique taste. Age is also a bit factor, with the fruit changing dramatically depending on how ‘ripe’ it is.

It’s hard to describe exactly how it tastes and smells

I genuinely like durian, but aside from saying it’s a bit like custard, I really can’t give much more than that. Smell-wise, I can just say it smells bad, it’s not like hakarl (that smells of piss).

Overall, seeing, tasting, and indeed smelling is indeed the only way to experience this in real time.

Try durian yourself on a tour to the Philippines!

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