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Durian the Smelliest Fruit in the World

Updated on December 1, 2015

Durian Fruit

Delicious Durian Fruit
Delicious Durian Fruit | Source

Do not Judge a Fruit by its Smell

Durian ( Durio zibethinus Murray ) is considered the King of fruits in Southeast Asia, we hear people say, don’t judge a book by its cover, and as a person who appreciates durian, I would say don’t judge a fruit by its smell. Durians generally invoke one of two extreme reactions either you love the smell, or you hate it with a vengeance. Most people who come within smelling range of the king of fruits for the first time are astounded at the assault on their olfactory senses.

In fact durians are banned from nearly all public establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, airports, and hospitals.

Durian The King of Fruits

Cast your vote for Do you like Durian

Durians Not allowed in Hotel

Sign in a hotel in Malaysia
Sign in a hotel in Malaysia | Source

Heaven or Hell?

For people who love the king of fruits, the flavor is like the ultimate ecstasy, an orgy of sensations on your palate, when you put the rich and creamy pulp or flesh in your mouth and then savor the uniquely fragrant taste.

For those adventurous enough to brave through the pungent smell, you will enjoy a taste of pure indulgence, an experience your taste buds will never forget. Regardless of whether you will come to love durians or end up hating them, I do guarantee it will be a memorable occasion. For you and for the people around you.

Durian Tree

Durian The King of Fruit
Durian The King of Fruit | Source

The First Step

Like most experiences in life, it is the first step that is going to make the difference. The reaction from travelers to Southeast Asia who encounter durian for the first time is truly amusing, it does wonders for their vocabulary, their use of expletives, to compare durians to the most repugnant carcasses, stinky socks, puke, and other things I shall not mention, is entertaining. People can be very creative trying to describe the aroma of this very fragrant fruit.

I would like to point out that for those of us who enjoy eating durians, the aroma is heavenly, and we use altogether different words to describe this fruit, divine, exquisite, delicious being some of the few words that come to mind.

Fear Factor

This wondrous fruit has even been used as one of the challenges on Fear Factor, an American TV show.

Would it not be wonderful if someone could harness the durian odor and use it as a deterrent for riots and public unrest?. Its less harmful then all the chemical currently in use. For those who cannot take the smell, they will disperse faster then if a skunk had walked into their midst and for those who enjoy eating durian, the aroma will pacify them and make them feel good and hungry.

Durian Fruit on theTree

Durian | Source

Highly Valued

For durian aficionados, its always preferable to buy the fruits that fall from the tree when its ripe. That is the reason why, if you do visit a durian orchard, you will see huge netting spread out several feet above ground below the durian trees. Another method is to tie strings to each individual fruit, so when its ripe and falls the fruit just hangs from the string and does not hit the ground and split open. Do not be surprised to see guard dogs roaming the orchards, with a guard house in the close vicinity.

As durians are highly valued, especially some of the cultivated variety, which are named, so that you can always ask for fruits from a specific variety, D for durians, followed by a numerical value, is widely used.

King of Fruits
King of Fruits | Source

Red Prawn or D12

I personally like the one that is named red prawn as the flesh is slightly reddish in color, is firm and creamy, not too mushy like some other varieties. The other variety I enjoy is D12 which is also delicious and not too sweet, each have their own distinct taste, even though we cannot identify the fruit by looking at its outer thorny husk,

Most durian sellers know that people who appreciate this fruit will have a preference as to the variety they enjoy. It's a given that the customer will return the fruit if its not of the variety requested, since the layman buyer finds it hard to distinguish between the different species, we are pretty much at the mercy of the seller to identify the species for us. As the durian stall owner will have his stall at the same place every durian season, he would cater to regulars who return yearly. Customer satisfaction is paramount to his business

How adventurous are you?

have you ever tried a durian, if not would you consider trying it?

See results

Be Adventurous

My advice for those who would like to be adventurous and happen to go on a holiday to Southeast Asia, try the variety from Thailand which is cultivated to have a much milder odor and a pleasant creamy taste, firm flesh with a small seed. After a person acquires a taste for durian, they should try the Malaysian durian with its fantastic taste and fragrance, for those who appreciate durian, they will love the pungently aromatic variety.

Please be warned. Asians believe that when you eat durian you should not consume alcohol because it will make you ill.


Durians are rich in nutrition. The size of a durian varies and can weigh up to several pounds, consuming a sizable fruit will be like having a meal. Durian are usually round or oblong in shape with sharp thorns, and should be handled with care. It also requires a certain amount of skill to open the shell to get to the flesh or pulp without hurting oneself. The best way is to make a small cut on the bottom of the fruit and pry it open.

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© 2013 ketage


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    • Nagatang profile image


      5 years ago from Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia

      (CriSp) The Durian flavor ice cream might not contain the real Durian. It could be just artificial flavor. Go for the Durian fruit, as long it is fresh it should be nice. ( Some fermented overripe fruit could taste horrible).

      Read my Hubpage on how to choose the best durian. Thank You

    • ketage profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Croatia

      Thanks for the comment and the vote up Seeker7. If you do try it, please let me know what you think of it.

    • ketage profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Croatia

      Nagatang , I have never tried the Borneo variety of durian, But if I ever do visit Borneo I will surely try it.

      Thanks for the comment :)

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 

      5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      What a really interesting hub about the durian fruit. I haven't even seen one - or had to smell it - let alone taste it, but I might get round to having a go one day. The first I had heard of this famous fruit was while watching a nature documentary many years ago and orangutans were eating the fruit like it was going out of fashion. They didn't bother about the smell and apparently durian is one of their favourite foods.

      This was a thoroughly enjoyable and very informative hub - thank you! Voted up!

    • Nagatang profile image


      5 years ago from Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia

      I love Durian 100%. The best Durian taste that I like the most: The Milk Chocolate Taste. This wild variety only found in the interior of Borneo, with it thorn/skin almost chocolate in color.

      My only Warning to Durian lover: If you eat too much durian (breakfast, lunch and dinner) without taking other food you could end up constipation. This is due to the fact that durian pulp contain all the food, very little fiber. So all will be digested and adsorb by our digestive system leaving almost nothing in the gut as waste!

    • ketage profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Croatia

      Yeah CrisSP, first time I tried durian i held my nose as well, but now i love the smell and taste, it does take some getting used to, but after you like durian, there is no going back, you will love it forever.

      Thanks for commenting :-)

    • CrisSp profile image


      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Interesting! I've never tasted an actual Durian food but have tried the Durian flavored ice cream, which is actually quite delicious.

      I probably have to cover my nose while I brave to savour the actual fruit.


    • ketage profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Croatia

      Thanks for commenting CMerritt,

      considering your gag reflex, i would not recommend it. Durian does tend to shock the olfactory senses, i have heard some people say it is similar to cheese, but i would have to disagree. Honestly i do not know how to describe the smell or taste. For me personally i love it. For my family on my mothers side, they can not stand the smell. I usually have to eat it on the veranda as i am banned from bringing the fruit into the house :-)

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Okay! I have learned something new today!!

      Very interesting. I have never heard of such a fruit. I have a horrible gag reflux, so I'm not sure if I could enjoy one of these, but you have my curiosity peeked.

      Up and interesting


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