Photo of the Week — Durian, the King of Fruits

Looking at durian fruit in a Vietnamese orchard

Nature has a way of warning us when things might be bad for us.

Bright colors = Poison.

Why yes, my blue pants ARE fabulous, but keep away! I'm deadly!

Loud rattling = Stay away.

Bitter taste = Toxic plants.

See? It’s not that hard.

So you’d think that basically the most hideous, unwelcome-looking fruit known to man with its hard, pointy and very sharp spikes would be nature’s unmistakeable way of warning us to stay away. You thought falling coconuts were dangerous? Durians have coconuts for breakfast. In fact, they may be nature’s answer to mace.

No. Not this kind.

This one. Notice a resemblance?

In fact, someone even made an award-winning movie about death by durian. And there’s a village in Malaysia known for its killer durian trees. You simply cannot make this stuff up, people!

So, you’d think we humans, the most intelligent creatures on the planet, would get the message loud and clear.

But perhaps you aren’t the book lernin’ type. (That’s ok. We can’t all be… I’m sure you’re very special in your own way, just like your mama told you.)

Bubba Gump novelty license plate

Why, yes! Yes, you are!

Perhaps you somehow got past the terrifying outside and tasted the flesh that has been described as rotting custard, spoiled meat or even “a mix between pineapple and raw onions”. Yahoo says the smell is reminiscent of liquid petroleum. Yummmm. Liquid petroleum.

The creamy inside of a durian fruit

For all you "special" people

Sounds delightful, no? And yet the Vietnamese (and lots of other Asians) can’t seem to get enough.

Sign prohibiting durian in a hotel

All Hail Durian, the "King of Fruit"

I visited a durian orchard recently, and even though someone in my group admitted that durian tasted like “crispy fried onions cooked in old oil”, it didn’t stop her from gulping huge mouthfuls of the custardy, pale yellow flesh with obvious glee.

So, looks like you just got pwned, Mother Nature! What else you got?

What about you? What’s the worst food you’ve ever eaten?


Photo credits: Poison Dart Frog, mace spray, medieval mace, I’m special sign, durian inside, hotel sign


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9 thoughts on “Photo of the Week — Durian, the King of Fruits

  1. Gwen Healy

    Would love to try this amazing looking fruit. It is probably a great body cleanser, I bet if they found it helped flush fat out of the body in no time, people here would be clamoring for it. How about shipping me some frozen ?

    1. James Post author

      Believe me, Gwen, if it helped you to lose weight, I’d be ALL OVER it. Breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack… Check your local Asian supermarket. They often have frozen durian. But be careful what you wish for!

  2. Lynda

    The thing with Durian is that, even though the taste is memorable (I mean, MEMORABLE), It will come back in your mouth a few times after you ate it, for about an hour. Now that is money well spend!!!!

    1. James Post author

      LOL. You are so right, Lynda! When I was young, I hated the taste. I remember going to a party and seeing a beautifully decorated cake with lots of frosting. When I bit into it, of course, it was durian-flavored cake… Now, while I’d never buy it myself, if it’s there, I’ll eat it. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, I say!

  3. Bach

    People are so mindful about other people’s sensitivity or good taste with their own choice of words or behavior. With durian, throw all that caution out the window and describe its smell/ taste as it really is, i.e. [poop]! Human [poop], dog [poop], YES (although I have not yest tasted either, just imagination).
    But it is GOLD, NECTAR, BLISS for the aficionados. (Don’t you want to be one.) Just overcome the initial reaction. For those who cannot quit smoking, think about your first smoke and how bad it tasted.

  4. James Post author

    Hmmm. So far, durian’s been compared to gas, onions and now cigarettes. Someone please explain why Asians love this fruit so much! I’m still not seeing the light…

  5. Sally

    I tried durian a few times when I was in Malaysia. I can’t say I was a huge fan — I say it tasted like a combination of old socks and rotten meat. (Don’t ask me how I know what old socks taste like. Just don’t.) But I honestly didn’t HATE it like a lot of people do — I’d just rather not waste my valuable stomach space on it when there are so many other wonderful things to eat that don’t taste like socks.
    Oddly, though, I have a strange nostalgic love for the smell of durian as it reminds me of my time in Malaysia. I may be the only foreigner I know who actually smiles when I get a whiff of the stuff at my Chinese grocery store.

    1. James Post author

      Yes, I should definitely add “old socks” to the What Durian Tastes Like List! Thanks!

      But what I’m hearing from you is that you’re recommending a type of Durian potpourri, or a Durian sachet, if you will. Something that says, “Why leave the scents of Malaysia behind when you can take it home with you!” Can I go halvsies on that deal?


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