‘King of the fruit world’ | Sunday Observer

‘King of the fruit world’

8 May, 2022

Durian, a native fruit of Southeast Asia, is considered by some to be the most fragrant fruit. However, it is said to have a very unpleasant odour to some. For this reason, some people eat durian with gusto, while others reject it even without looking at it. These are some of the facts about Durian, which are unheard to many.

Due to its large size compared to other fruits, durian is popular among Southeast Asians as the ‘king of the fruit world’. According to the Chinese, durian and mangosteens are the king and queen of the fruit world. That’s because they have completely different features. A durian fruit, covered with a thorny bark, is usually about a foot in size. It is more special than other fruits due to its size and unique aroma.

Durian fruit varies in shape from oblong to round and it is not necessary for a durian fruit to be well ripened for consumption. Accordingly, durian can be used in a variety of ways depending on the time of ripening, and many of the fragrant aromas emitted are also used to flavour Southeast Asian food. Durian seeds are also used for cooking purposes.

300 varieties

Currently, there are about 30 species of durian in the world, nine of which are edible. But over the centuries, about 300 varieties of durian have been developed, thanks to high-quality grafting. They produce high quality durian in almost every variety and each variety has a different taste and aroma.

Although durian is a fruit endemic to Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia, Thailand is currently the world’s leading exporter of durian. Nearly 200 varieties of durian are grown commercially, the most prominent being the durio zibethinus.

Although unpleasant to some, durian is a healthy fruit. Due to its simple sugar content, even those who suffer from diabetes can consume it. Also, it is not so heavy food so it is easy to digest.

Durian can be eaten as a remedy for weight loss in young children. Durian is also used as a remedy for constipation due to its fibrous nature. In addition, durian contributes to the production of red blood cells in the body.

 Healthy hair

 Durian is useful in relieving sudden heart attacks and lowering high blood pressure. Regular consumption of durian can help you to have radiant skin as well as healthy hair. Although durian contains many nutrients that are important for the body, durian is not good for people suffering from asthma and phlegm-related conditions.

Countries such as Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong have banned the use of durian on public transportation because of its odour. Singapore has extended the ban, not only on public transport but also in taxis. There are restaurants that have banned the use of Durian in food preparation because of its persistent odour for several days.

This is how Alfred Russell Wallace, a British naturalist, described durian in 1856.

“Silky white five chambers are filled with creamy pulp, and each chamber contains three seeds. Of these, only the pulp-like part can be eaten. Its consistency and flavour are indescribable. Roughly it looks like almond flavoured custard. But sometimes it comes down to incompatible flavours like cream cheese, sherry wine or onion sauce. The sticky softness, unlike any other fruit, enhances the ripeness of this fruit. As more and more Durians are eaten, the need to stop eating them gradually diminishes.”