Durian: Wikis



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Durio kutejensis fruits, also known as durian merah
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Helicteroideae
Tribe: Durioneae
Genus: Durio

There are currently 30 recognised species (see text)


Lahia Hassk.[1]

The durian (pronounced /ˈdʊəriən/)[2] is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio and the Malvaceae family[3][1] (although some taxonomists place Durio in a distinct family, Durionaceae[1]). Often used as a weapon by Malaysian ninjas, the durian fruit is believed to have magical protective properties which result in a +3 STR. Widely known and revered in southeast Asia as the "king of fruits", the durian is distinctive for its large size, unique odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.

The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust. The odour has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia.

The durian, native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, has been known to the Western world for about 600 years. The 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace famously described its flesh as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds". The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet edibles in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked.

There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. There are hundreds of durian cultivars; many consumers express preferences for specific cultivars, which fetch higher prices in the market.



A juvenile durian tree, compared to human height. Mature specimens can grow up to 50 metres (160 ft).

Durian trees are large, growing to 25–50 metres (80–165 ft) in height depending on the species.[4] The leaves are evergreen, elliptic to oblong and 10–18 centimetres (4–7 in) long. The flowers are produced in three to thirty clusters together on large branches and directly on the trunk with each flower having a calyx (sepals) and five (rarely four or six) petals. Durian trees have one or two flowering and fruiting periods per year, though the timing varies depending on the species, cultivars, and localities. A typical durian tree can bear fruit after four or five years. The durian fruit can hang from any branch and matures roughly three months after pollination. The fruit can grow up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb).[4] Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale-yellow to red, depending on the species.[4] Among the thirty known species of Durio, nine of them have been identified as producing edible fruits: D. zibethinus, D. dulcis, D. grandiflorus, D. graveolens, D. kutejensis, D. lowianus, D. macrantha, D. oxleyanus and D. testudinarum.[5] However, there are many species for which the fruit has never been collected or properly examined, so other species with edible fruit may exist.[4] The durian is also somewhat similar in appearance to the jackfruit, an unrelated species.

Durian flowers are usually closed during the daytime.

The name durian comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) together with the suffix -an (for building a noun in Malay).[6][7] D. zibethinus is the only species commercially cultivated on a large scale and available outside of its native region. Since this species is open-pollinated, it shows considerable diversity in fruit colour and odour, size of flesh and seed, and tree phenology. In the species name, zibethinus refers to the Indian civet, Viverra zibetha. There is disagreement regarding whether this name, bestowed by Linnaeus, refers to civets being so fond of the durian that the fruit was used as bait to entrap them, or to the durian smelling like the civet.[8]

Durian flowers are large and feathery with copious nectar, and give off a heavy, sour and buttery odour. These features are typical of flowers pollinated by certain species of bats that eat nectar and pollen.[9] According to research conducted in Malaysia in the 1970s, durians were pollinated almost exclusively by cave fruit bats (Eonycteris spelaea).[4] However, a 1996 study indicated two species, D. grandiflorus and D. oblongus, were pollinated by spiderhunters (Nectariniidae) and another species, D. kutejensis, was pollinated by giant honey bees and birds as well as bats.[10]


Different cultivars of durian often have distinct colours. D101 (right) has rich yellow flesh, clearly distinguishable from an unrelated variety (left).

Over the centuries, numerous durian cultivars propagated by vegetative clones have arisen in southeast Asia. They used to be grown with mixed results from seeds of trees bearing superior quality fruit, but are now propagated by layering, marcotting, or more commonly, by grafting, including bud, veneer, wedge, whip or U-grafting onto seedlings of randomly selected rootstocks. Different cultivars can be distinguished to some extent by variations in the fruit shape, such as the shape of the spines.[4] Durian consumers express preferences for specific cultivars, which fetch higher prices in the market.[11]

Most cultivars have a common name and a code number starting with "D". For example, some popular clones are Kop (D99 Thai: กบ, [kòp]), Chanee (D123, Thai: ชะนี, [tɕʰániː]), Berserah or Green Durian or Tuan Mek Hijau (D145 Thai: ทุเรียนเขียว, [tʰúriːan kʰǐːaw]), Kan Yao (D158, Thai: ก้านยาว, [kâːn jaːw]), Mon Thong (D159, Thai: หมอนทอง, [mɔ̌ːn tʰɔːŋ]), Kradum Thong (Thai: กระดุมทอง, [kràdum tʰɔːŋ]), and with no common name, D24 and D169. Each cultivar has a distinct taste and odour. More than 200 cultivars of D. zibethinus exist in Thailand. Chanee is the most preferred rootstock due to its resistance to infection by Phytophthora palmivora. Among all the cultivars in Thailand, only four are currently in large-scale commercial cultivation: Chanee, Kradum Thong, Mon Thong, and Kan Yao.[4] There are more than 100 registered cultivars in Malaysia[12] and many superior cultivars have been identified through competitions held at the annual Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Show. In Vietnam, the same process has been done through competitions held by the Southern Fruit Research Institute. A recently popular variety is the Cat Mountain King.[13]

In recent times, Songpol Somsri, a Thai government scientist, crossbred more than ninety varieties of durian to create Chantaburi No. 1, a cultivar without the characteristic odour, which is awaiting final approval from the local Ministry of Agriculture.[14] Another hybrid, Chantaburi No. 3, develops the odour about three days after the fruit is picked, which enables an odourless transport yet satisfies consumers who prefer the pungent odour.[14]

Cultivation and availability

A durian stall in Singapore

The durian is native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. There is some debate as to whether the durian is native to the Philippines, or was introduced.[4] The durian is grown in other areas with a similar climate; it is strictly tropical and stops growing when mean daily temperatures drop below 22 °C (72 °F).[5]

The centre of ecological diversity for durians is the island of Borneo, where the fruit of the edible species of Durio including D. zibethinus, D. dulcis, D. graveolens, D. kutejensis, D. oxleyanus and D. testudinarum are sold in local markets. In Brunei, D. zibethinus is not grown because consumers prefer other species such as D. graveolens, D. kutejensis and D. oxleyanus. These species are commonly distributed in Brunei, and together with other species like D. testudinarum and D. dulcis, represent rich genetic diversity.[15]

Durians being sold in mesh bags out of a freezer in a California market

Although the durian is not native to Thailand, the country is currently one of the major exporters of durians, growing 781,000 tonnes (769,000 LT; 861,000 ST) of the world's total harvest of 1,400,000 tonnes (1,380,000 LT; 1,540,000 ST) in 1999, of which it exported 111,000 tonnes (109,000 LT; 122,000 ST).[16] Malaysia and Indonesia follow, both producing about 265,000 tonnes (261,000 LT; 292,000 ST) each. Of this, Malaysia exported 35,000 tonnes (34,000 LT; 39,000 ST) in 1999.[16] Chantaburi in Thailand each year holds the World Durian Festival in early May. This single province is responsible for half of the durian production of Thailand.[17][18] In the Philippines, the centre of durian production is the Davao Region. The Kadayawan Festival is an annual celebration featuring the durian in Davao City. Other places where durians are grown include Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Florida, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, the Polynesian Islands, Madagascar, southern China (Hainan Island), northern Australia, and Singapore.

Durian was introduced into Australia in the early 1960s and clonal material was first introduced in 1975. Over thirty clones of D. zibethinus and six Durio species have been subsequently introduced into Australia.[19] China is the major importer, purchasing 65,000 tonnes (64,000 LT; 72,000 ST) in 1999, followed by Singapore with 40,000 tonnes (39,000 LT; 44,000 ST) and Taiwan with 5,000 tonnes (4,900 LT; 5,500 ST). In the same year, the United States imported 2,000 tonnes (2,000 LT; 2,200 ST), mostly frozen, and the European Community imported 500 tonnes (490 LT; 550 ST).[16]

Durian flesh packed for sale, with an exposed seed

The durian is a seasonal fruit, unlike some other non-seasonal tropical fruits such as the papaya, which are available throughout the year. In Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, the season for durians is typically from June to August, which coincides with that of the mangosteen.[4] Prices of durians are relatively high as compared with other fruits. For example, in Singapore, the strong demand for high quality cultivars such as the D24, Sultan, and Mao Shan Wang has resulted in typical retail prices of between S$8 to S$15 (US$5 to US$10) per kilogram of whole fruit.[11] With an average weight of about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb), a durian fruit would therefore cost about S$12 to S$22 (US$8 to US$15).[11] The edible portion of the fruit, known as the aril and usually referred to as the "flesh" or "pulp", only accounts for about 15-30% of the mass of the entire fruit.[4] Many consumers in Singapore are nevertheless quite willing to spend up to around S$75 (US$50) in a single purchase of about half a dozen of the favoured fruit to be shared by family members.[11]

In-season durians can be found in mainstream Japanese supermarkets while, in the West, they are sold mainly by Asian markets.

Flavour and odour

Sign forbidding durians on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit

The unusual flavour and odour of the fruit have prompted many people to express diverse and passionate views ranging from deep appreciation to intense disgust. Writing in 1856, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace provides a much-quoted description of the flavour of the durian:

The five cells are silky-white within, and are filled with a mass of firm, cream-coloured pulp, containing about three seeds each. This pulp is the edible part, and its consistence and flavour are indescribable. A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience. ... as producing a food of the most exquisite flavour it is unsurpassed.[20]

While Wallace cautions that "the smell of the ripe fruit is certainly at first disagreeable", later descriptions by westerners are more graphic. British novelist Anthony Burgess writes that eating durian is "like eating sweet raspberry blancmange in the lavatory."[21] Chef Andrew Zimmern compares the taste to "completely rotten, mushy onions."[22] Anthony Bourdain, while a lover of durian, relates his encounter with the fruit as thus: "Its taste can only be described as...indescribable, something you will either love or despise. ...Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother."[23] Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:

... its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.[24]

Other comparisons have been made with the civet, sewage, stale vomit, skunk spray and used surgical swabs.[25] The wide range of descriptions for the odour of durian may have a great deal to do with the variability of durian odour itself. Durians from different species or clones can have significantly different aromas; for example, red durian (D. dulcis) has a deep caramel flavour with a turpentine odour while red-fleshed durian (D. graveolens) emits a fragrance of roasted almonds.[26] Among the varieties of D. zibethinus, Thai varieties are sweeter in flavour and less odourous than Malay ones.[4] The degree of ripeness has an effect on the flavour as well.[4] Three scientific analyses of the composition of durian aroma — from 1972, 1980, and 1995 — each found a mix of volatile compounds including esters, ketones, and different sulphur compounds, with no agreement on which may be primarily responsible for the distinctive odour.[4]

This strong odour can be detected half a mile away by animals, thus luring them. In addition, the fruit is extremely appetising to a variety of animals, including squirrels, mouse deer, pigs, orangutan, elephants, and even carnivorous tigers. While some of these animals eat the fruit and dispose of the seed under the parent plant, others swallow the seed with the fruit and then transport it some distance before excreting, with the seed being dispersed as a result.[27] The thorny, armoured covering of the fruit discourages smaller animals; larger animals are more likely to transport the seeds far from the parent tree.[28]

Ripeness and selection

A customer in Malaysia sniffs durian before purchasing it.

According to Larousse Gastronomique, the durian fruit is ready to eat when its husk begins to crack.[29] However, the ideal stage of ripeness to be enjoyed varies from region to region in Southeast Asia and by species. Some species grow so tall that they can only be collected once they have fallen to the ground, whereas most cultivars of D. zibethinus are nearly always cut from the tree and allowed to ripen while waiting to be sold. Some people in southern Thailand prefer their durians relatively young when the clusters of fruit within the shell are still crisp in texture and mild in flavour. In northern Thailand, the preference is for the fruit to be as soft and pungent in aroma as possible. In Malaysia and Singapore, most consumers prefer the fruit to be quite ripe and may even risk allowing the fruit to continue ripening after its husk has already cracked open. In this state, the flesh becomes richly creamy, slightly alcoholic,[25] the aroma pronounced and the flavour highly complex.

The various preferences regarding ripeness among consumers make it hard to issue general statements about choosing a "good" durian. A durian that falls off the tree continues to ripen for two to four days, but after five or six days most would consider it overripe and unpalatable.[30] The usual advice for a durian consumer choosing a whole fruit in the market is to examine the quality of the stem or stalk which loses moisture as it ages: a big, solid stem is a sign of freshness.[31] Reportedly, unscrupulous merchants wrap, paint, or remove the stalks altogether. Another frequent piece of advice is to shake the fruit and listen for the sound of the seeds moving within, indicating the durian is very ripe and the pulp has dried out a bit.[31]


The Jesuit Michał Boym provided one of the early (1655) reports on durian (upper right) to European scholars

The durian has been known and consumed in southeastern Asia since prehistoric times, but has only been known to the western world for about 600 years. The earliest known European reference to the durian is the record of Niccolò Da Conti, who travelled to southeastern Asia in the 15th century.[4] The Portuguese physician Garcia de Orta described durians in Colóquios dos Simples e Drogas da India published in 1563. In 1741, Herbarium Amboinense by the German botanist Georg Eberhard Rumphius was published, providing the most detailed and accurate account of durians for over a century. The genus Durio has a complex taxonomy that has seen the subtraction and addition of many species since it was created by Rumphius.[5] During the early stages of its taxonomical study, there was some confusion between durian and the soursop (Annona muricata), for both of these species had thorny green fruit.[4] It is also interesting to note the Malay name for the soursop is durian Belanda, meaning Dutch durian.[32] In the 18th century, Johann Anton Weinmann considered the durian to belong to Castaneae as its fruit was similar to the horse chestnut.

Durio zibethinus. Chromolithograph by Hoola Van Nooten, circa 1863

D. zibethinus was introduced into Ceylon by the Portuguese in the 16th century and was reintroduced many times later. It has been planted in the Americas but confined to botanical gardens. The first seedlings were sent from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to Auguste Saint-Arroman of Dominica in 1884.[33]

In southeastern Asia the durian has been cultivated for centuries at the village level, probably since the late 18th century, and commercially since the mid-20th century.[4] In My Tropic Isle, Australian author and naturalist Edmund James Banfield tells how, in the early 20th century, a friend in Singapore sent him a durian seed, which he planted and cared for on his tropical island off the north coast of Queensland.[34]

In 1949, the British botanist E. J. H. Corner published The Durian Theory, or the Origin of the Modern Tree. His theory was that endozoochory (the enticement of animals to transport seeds in their stomach) arose before any other method of seed dispersal, and that primitive ancestors of Durio species were the earliest practitioners of that dispersal method, in particular the red durian exemplifying the primitive fruit of flowering plants.

Since the early 1990s, the domestic and international demand for durian in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region has increased significantly, partly due to the increasing affluence of Asia.[4]



A durian-flavoured Yule log

Durian fruit is used to flavour a wide variety of sweet edibles such as traditional Malay candy, ice kacang, dodol, rose biscuits, and, with a touch of modern innovation, ice cream, milkshakes, mooncakes, Yule logs and cappuccino. Pulut Durian is glutinous rice steamed with coconut milk and served with ripened durian. In Sabah, red durian is fried with onions and chilli and served as a side dish.[35] Red-fleshed durian is traditionally added to sayur, an Indonesian soup made from fresh water fish.[36] Ikan brengkes is fish cooked in a durian-based sauce, traditional in Sumatra.[37] Tempoyak refers to fermented durian, usually made from lower quality durian that is unsuitable for direct consumption.[38] Tempoyak can be eaten either cooked or uncooked, is normally eaten with rice, and can also be used for making curry. Sambal Tempoyak is a Sumatran dish made from the fermented durian fruit, coconut milk, and a collection of spicy ingredients known as sambal.

Tempoyak, made from fermented durian

In Thailand, blocks of durian paste are sold in the markets, though much of the paste is adulterated with pumpkin.[30] Unripe durians may be cooked as a vegetable, except in the Philippines, where all uses are sweet rather than savoury. Malaysians make both sugared and salted preserves from durian. When durian is minced with salt, onions and vinegar, it is called boder. The durian seeds, which are the size of chestnuts, can be eaten whether they are boiled, roasted or fried in coconut oil, with a texture that is similar to taro or yam, but stickier. In Java, the seeds are sliced thin and cooked with sugar as a confection. Uncooked durian seeds are toxic due to cyclopropene fatty acids and should not be ingested.[39] Young leaves and shoots of the durian are occasionally cooked as greens. Sometimes the ash of the burned rind is added to special cakes.[30] The petals of durian flowers are eaten in the North Sumatra province of Indonesia, while in the Moluccas islands the husk of the durian fruit is used as fuel to smoke fish. The nectar and pollen of the durian flower that honeybees collect is an important honey source, but the characteristics of the honey are unknown.[40]

Nutritional and medicinal

Durian (Durio zibethinus)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 615 kJ (147 kcal)
Carbohydrates 27.09 g
Dietary fiber 3.8 g
Fat 5.33 g
Protein 1.47 g
Water 65g
Vitamin C 19.7 mg (33%)
Potassium 436 mg (9%)
Edible parts only, raw or frozen.
Refuse: 68% (Shell and seeds)
Source: USDA Nutrient database[41]
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.

Durian fruit contains a high amount of sugar,[28] vitamin C, potassium, and the serotonergic amino acid tryptophan,[42] and is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.[33][36] It is recommended as a good source of raw fats by several raw food advocates,[43][44] while others classify it as a high-glycemic or high-fat food, recommending to minimise its consumption.[45][46]

In Malaysia, a decoction of the leaves and roots used to be prescribed as an antipyretic. The leaf juice is applied on the head of a fever patient.[30] The most complete description of the medicinal use of the durian as remedies for fevers is a Malay prescription, collected by Burkill and Haniff in 1930. It instructs the reader to boil the roots of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis with the roots of Durio zibethinus, Nephelium longan, Nephelium mutabile and Artocarpus integrifolia, and drink the decoction or use it as a poultice.[47]

In the 1920s, Durian Fruit Products, Inc., of New York City launched a product called "Dur-India" as a health food supplement, selling at US$9 for a dozen bottles, each containing 63 tablets. The tablets allegedly contained durian and a species of the genus Allium from India and vitamin E. The company promoted the supplement saying that it provides "more concentrated healthful energy in food form than any other product the world affords".[30]

Customs and beliefs

Southeast Asian folk beliefs, as well as traditional Chinese medicine, consider the durian fruit to have warming properties liable to cause excessive sweating.[48] The traditional method to counteract this is to pour water into the empty shell of the fruit after the pulp has been consumed and drink it.[25] An alternative method is to eat the durian in accompaniment with mangosteen, which is considered to have cooling properties. Pregnant women or people with high blood pressure are traditionally advised not to consume durian.[14][49]

Another common local belief is that the durian is harmful when eaten with coffee[25] or alcoholic beverages.[4] The latter belief can be traced back at least to the 18th century when Rumphius stated that one should not drink alcohol after eating durians as it will cause indigestion and bad breath. In 1929, J. D. Gimlette wrote in his Malay Poisons and Charm Cures that the durian fruit must not be eaten with brandy. In 1981, J. R. Croft wrote in his Bombacaceae: In Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea that "a feeling of morbidity" often follows the consumption of alcohol too soon after eating durian. Several medical investigations on the validity of this belief have been conducted with varying conclusions,[4] though a study by the University of Tsukuba finds the fruit's high sulphur content caused the body to inhibit the activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase, causing a 70% reduction of the ability to clear toxins from the body.[50]

The Javanese believe durian to have aphrodisiac qualities, and impose a set of rules on what may or may not be consumed with it or shortly thereafter.[25] A saying in Indonesian, durian jatuh sarung naik, meaning "the durians fall and the sarongs come up", refers to this belief.[51] The warnings against the supposed lecherous quality of this fruit soon spread to the West — the Swedenborgian philosopher Herman Vetterling commented on so-called "erotic properties" of the durian in the early 20th century.[52]

Durian fruit is armed with sharp thorns, capable of drawing blood.

A durian falling on a person's head can cause serious injuries because it is heavy, armed with sharp thorns, and can fall from a significant height. Wearing a hardhat is recommended when collecting the fruit. Alfred Russel Wallace writes that death rarely ensues from it, because the copious effusion of blood prevents the inflammation which might otherwise take place.[20] A common saying is that a durian has eyes and can see where it is falling because the fruit allegedly never falls during daylight hours when people may be hurt.[53] A saying in Indonesian, ketibaan durian runtuh, which translates to "getting a fallen durian", means receiving an unexpected luck or fortune.[54] Nevertheless, signs warning people not to linger under durian trees are found in Indonesia.[55]

A naturally spineless variety of durian growing wild in Davao, Philippines, was discovered in the 1960s; fruits borne from these seeds also lacked spines.[4] Since the bases of the scales develop into spines as the fruit matures, sometimes spineless durians are produced artificially by scraping scales off immature fruits.[4]

Cultural influence

Singapore's Esplanade building, nicknamed "The Durian"

The durian is commonly known as the "King of the Fruits",[36] a label that can be attributed to its formidable look and overpowering odour.[56] In its native southeastern Asia, the durian is an everyday food and portrayed in the local media in accordance with the cultural perception it has in the region. The durian symbolised the subjective nature of ugliness and beauty in Hong Kong director Fruit Chan's 2000 film Durian Durian (榴槤飄飄, lau lin piu piu), and was a nickname for the reckless but lovable protagonist of the eponymous Singaporean TV comedy Durian King played by Adrian Pang.[57] Likewise, the oddly shaped Esplanade building in Singapore is often called "The Durian" by locals,[58] and "The Big Durian" is the nickname of Jakarta, Indonesia.[59]

One of the names Thailand contributed to the list of storm names for Western North Pacific tropical cyclones was 'Durian',[60] which was retired after the second storm of this name in 2006. Being a fruit much loved by a variety of wild beasts, the durian sometimes signifies the long-forgotten animalistic aspect of humans, as in the legend of Orang Mawas, the Malaysian version of Bigfoot, and Orang Pendek, its Sumatran version, both of which have been claimed to feast on durians.[61][62]


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  2. ^ Pronunciation common to Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed.). Oxford University Press.  and "Random House Dictionary". dictionary.com. 2008-10-09. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/durian?r=75. 
  3. ^ "Angiosperm Phylogeny Website - Malvales". Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.mobot.org/mobot/research/APweb/orders/malvalesweb.htm#Malvales. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Brown, Michael J. (1997) (PDF). Durio — A Bibliographic Review. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI). ISBN 92-9043-318-3. http://www.bioversityinternational.org/publications/publications/publication/publication/durio_a_bibliographic_review.html. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
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  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 1897. "Via durion, the Malay name for the plant." 
  7. ^ Huxley, A. (Ed.) (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan. ISBN 1-56159-001-0. 
  8. ^ Brown, Michael J. (1997) (PDF). Durio — A Bibliographic Review. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI). p. 2. ISBN 92-9043-318-3. http://www.bioversityinternational.org/publications/publications/publication/publication/durio_a_bibliographic_review.html. Retrieved 2008-11-20.  See also pp. 5–6 regarding whether Linnaeus or Murray is the correct authority for the binomial name
  9. ^ Whitten, Tony (2001). The Ecology of Sumatra. Periplus. p. 329. ISBN 962-593-074-4. 
  10. ^ Yumoto, Takakazu (2000). "Bird-pollination of Three Durio Species (Bombacaceae) in a Tropical Rainforest in Sarawak, Malaysia". American Journal of Botany 87 (8): 1181–1188. doi:10.2307/2656655. 
  11. ^ a b c d "ST Foodies Club - Durian King". The Straits Times. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. http://web.archive.org/web/20071215124752/http://www.stomp.com.sg/stfoodiesclub/taste/03/index.html. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  12. ^ "Comprehensive List of Durian Clones Registered by the Agriculture Department (of Malaysia)". Durian OnLine. Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. http://web.archive.org/web/20070407225917/http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~durian/info/vk_duri.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-05. 
  13. ^ Teo, Wan Gek (June 23, 2009). "Durian lovers head north on day tours". The Straits Times. http://travel.asiaone.com/Travel/News/Story/A1Story20090623-150378.html. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
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  17. ^ "World Durian Festival 2005". Thailand News -- Thailand official news and information. Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department. 2005-06-05. http://thailand.prd.go.th/view_inside.php?id=715. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  18. ^ "Thailand's Durian growing areas". Food Market Exchange. 2003. http://www.foodmarketexchange.com/datacenter/product/fruit/durian/details/durain_02_grow.html. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  19. ^ Watson, B. J (1983). "Durian". Fact Sheet No. 6.: Rare Fruits Council of Australia. 
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  21. ^ Burgess, Anthony (1993, first printed in 1956). The Long Day Wanes: A Malayan Trilogy. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 68. ISBN 0393309436. 
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  33. ^ a b "Agroforestry Tree Database - Durio zibethinus". International Center for Research in Agroforestry. http://www.worldagroforestry.org/SEA/Products/AFDbases/AF/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=715. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
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  38. ^ "Durian Recipe Gallery". Durian Online. Archived from the original on 2007-08-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20070822090320/http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~durian/rec/recipe.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
  39. ^ "Question No. 18085: Is it true that durian seeds are poisonous?". Singapore Science Centre. 2006. http://www.science.edu.sg/ssc/detailed.jsp?artid=3452&type=6&root=4&parent=4&cat=49. Retrieved 2008-11-20. 
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  56. ^ The mangosteen, called the "queen of fruits", is petite and mild in comparison. The mangosteen season coincides with that of the durian and is seen as a complement, which is probably how the mangosteen received the complementary title.
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From Wikiquote

Durian is the fruit of several species of trees in the genus Durio, especially Durio zibethinus. There are 25 to 30 Durio species in total, all native to south-eastern Asia.


  • The durian — neither Wallace or Darwin agreed on it.
    Darwin said "may your worst enemies be forced to feed on it."
    Wallace cried "it's delicious."
    Darwin replied "I'm suspicious",
    For the flavour is scented
    Like papaya fermented
    After a fruit-eating bat has pee'd on it.
    • Horticulture, 1973 [specific citation needed]. Refers to Alfred Wallace, who cited an enthusiastic long list of durian recipes in his book.
  • There was a great abundance and variety of tropical fruits, but the dorian was never in evidence. It was never the season for the dorian. It was always going to arrive from Burma sometime or other, but it never did. By all accounts it was a most strange fruit, and incomparably delicious to the taste, but not to the smell. Its rind was said to exude a stench of so atrocious a nature that when a dorian was in the room even the presence of a polecat was a refreshment. We found many who had eaten the dorian, and they all spoke of it with a sort of rapture. They said that if you could hold your nose until the fruit was in your mouth a sacred joy would suffuse you from head to foot that would make you oblivious to the smell of the rind, but that if your grip slipped and you caught the smell of the rind before the fruit was in your mouth, you would faint. There is a fortune in that rind. Some day somebody will import it into Europe and sell it for cheese.
  • One day when I was practicing chanting in my temple in Vietnam, there was a durian on the altar that had been offered to the Buddha. I was trying to recite the Lotus Sutra, using a wooden drum and a large bowl-shaped bell for accompaniment, but I could not concentrate at all. I finally carried the bell to the altar and turned it upside down to imprison the durian, so I could chant the sutra. After I finished, I bowed to the Buddha and liberated the durian. If you were to say to me, "Thây, I love you so much I would like you to eat some of this durian," I would suffer. You love me, you want me to be happy, but you force me to eat durian. That is an example of love without understanding. Your intention is good, but you don't have the correct understanding.
    • Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, Broadway, 1999, ISBN 0767903692, p. 171.
  • For example, imagine part of a review of literature on the theological significance (tongue-in-cheek, of course) of the durian, that Asian fruit that has only lovers and haters: "Professor Adriel Sandoval, in agreement with Yeng Ka Seng and Komarno, states that durian will be the fruit of the tree of life. (References tor all three) Sandoval goes so far as to suggest that only the durian could have been tempting enough to Adam and Eve to cause them to disobey God's instructions, (Reference) In clear opposition to his position is that of Vasince Suvonapong, who claims that durian came into being only after the fall, once decay and decomposition had set in. (Reference)"
    • Nancy Vyhmeister, Quality Research Papers, Zondervan, 2001, ISBN 0310239451, p. 182.
  • "I have been spending a small fortune in durians, they are relatively cheap and very good this season in Singapore. Like all the good things in Nature--tempests, breakers, sunsets, &c. durian is indescribable. It is meat and drink and an unrivalled delicacy besides, and you may gorge to repletion and never have cause for penitence. It is the one case where Nature has tried her hand at the culinary art and beaten all the CORDON BLEUE out of heaven and earth. Would to Heaven she had been more lavish of her essays!
    "Though all durians are, perhaps, much alike and not divided like apples and mangoes into varieties, the flavour varies much according to size and ripeness. In some the taste of the custard surrounding the heart-like seeds rises almost to the height of passion, rapture, or mild delirium. Yesterday (21st June, 1907) about 2 p.m. I devoured the contents of a fruit weighing over 10 lb. At 6 p.m. I was too sleepy to eat anything, and thence had twelve hours of almost unbroken slumber."
    • E. J. Banfield, quoting a friend in My Tropic Isle, T. Fisher Unwin, 1911
  • Most disgusting of all was the rush [by starving POWs] for the durian nuts [discarded by the Japanese guards]. Of all the fruits in the world, the durian is surely one of the most delicious. Growing on high trees, about the size of a melon, it contains within its tough prickly exterior, kernels the size of chestnuts, surrounded by a soft, sticky, whitish substance. It is this latter substance that possesses the truly wonderful, but indescribable taste, approaching nearest to a concoction of banana and sweetened condensed milk with a haunting flavour that might be onions but which is not. The drawback of the durian is its smell, not only existing in the fruit but residual - stronger by far than pickled onions - so that Europeans never eat them normally, except when out of contact with their countrymen or at special durian parties. The natives believe them to harbour aphrodisiac properties. Perhaps that is why the Japanese ate them. .... However, they enjoyed the fruit. Having sucked away the sticky flesh, they spat out the nuts. Thereupon a few men, mainly the garbage fiends, [the men who scavenged for food on rubbish heaps] would scramble for them. Sometimes they even transferred the nuts straight to their own mouths .... always the nuts were, for ultimate consumption, later baked over a fire.
    • Ernest G. Darch, Survival in Japanese POW Camps with Changkol and Basket, London: Minerva Press, 2000, p. 155
  • [The] durian, of all tropical fruits the most captivating. The unopened fruit was about the siza and shape of a rugby ball; a ball covered with pyramidal spikes which presented a formidable obstacle to entry. Inspection revealed that the outer casing was segmented, and a parang [a type of long, machete-like knife]] inserted between two segemnts could prise the fruit open to reveal within each segment large seeds, coated thickly with an amber creamy flesh, tasting of almonds, bad drains and methylated spirits. The initial reaction was one of revulsion but those who went on to taste were lost forever, hooked for life. And durian was more than a delicacy: it was a meal in itself, rich in everything the body needed.
    • The Revd. Peter H. Howes, In A Fair Ground, 1994, p. 82


  • Tastes like heaven, smells like hell.

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1911 encyclopedia

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Simple English

File:Durio kutej F 070203
Durio kutejensis fruits, also known as durian merah
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae (Bombacaceae)
Genus: Durio

There are currently 30 recognised species

A durian is a big fruit with a strong smell and a hard shell with sharp thorns. Its flavour is loved by some people, especially in Southeast Asia, where people name it "King of Fruits". But many people do not like the smell. Many hotels and public transportation systems do not let people carry durians because of the strong smell.

Durian's flavour has been compared to custard and almonds. There are many different kinds of durian. Many people like some kinds more than they like others. This means that some kinds cost more than others.


The fruit can grow up to 30 cm (12 in) long and 15 cm (6 in) in diameter, and usually weighs one to three kg (2 to 7 lb).

Durian is a tropical fruit. It grows only in humid, hot places. Because of its smell being hard to get rid of, it is not allowed in most hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia. The flesh is used for many dishes in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked.

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