Durian Fruit

Deplorable Smell Exquisite Taste

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Durian Fruits

A while back I looked into growing an unusual fruit, the Durian fruit, here's what I found.

Food writer Richard Sterling describes the smell of Durian fruit as pig shit, turpentine and onions garnished with a dirty gym sock The pungent and unsavory aroma permeates and infests a large radius around it. Anthony Bourdain said of Durian Your breath will smell as if you'd been French kissing your dead grandmother.'.

A group of scientists from the German Research Center for Food Chemistry attempted to find out how exactly the fruit smells so unbelievably deplorable, yet tastes exquiiste. They were able to pinpoint 50 compounds in the fruit responsible for its unpleasant smell. Some of these compounds had been completely unknown to science prior to their study. Their study suggests that no single compound could possibly produce such a hideous aroma, but instead the mixture of chemicals found in Durian fruit produces it's powerful stench as well as its pleasant taste.

Now the question that lingers almost as heavily as the fruits stench is 'if it smells that G-d Awful, why in heavens name would anybody eat it ? !' After my first wiff of it, my initual thought was that I'd rather lick the rim of a Penn Station toilet. Like many bizarre foods, folks who eat it state it's an 'acquired taste'. The complex flavor of the fruit is matched only by the complexity of it's chemical signature of 50 compounds, the flavors actualy meld together and create an overall pleasant taste [so long as you hold your nose]. A blend of savory, sweet, and creamy simultaneously, nothing like any other fruit.

The durian tree comes from Southeast Asian rainforests, it needs tropical heat, exorbidant moisture, and lots of sunshine to thrive. If you don't live in a tropical rainforest or have a suitable greenhouse I would suggest not attempting to grow it yourself.