Monday, November 21, 2011
Botanical Name: Durio zibethinus
Specimens From: Malaysia
Specimens Weight: 1350 gms [3 lb]
Durian, native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei but it is also cultivated in Thailand and The Philipines with Thailand being the leading producer. Durians are extremely popular and known as king of the fruit in South East Asia and in several other countries where there are Asian and Chinese communities.
There are literally hundreds of cultivars of this durian species. Most cultivars are usually labelled with a "D" followed by a code number and some even with fanciful names for marketing strategies. There are also several other "Durio" species which are found only on the Island of Borneo and no where else. Examples are those rare durians with red pulp or those with red shells and also those with thin spikes. It is mostly grown wild and sold in their local markets as it is never exported. Hence, it is considered as rare and not known or heard of, once out of Borneo.
The size of the durian may varies from about 500 grams to several kilograms, especially those culivars from Thailand which are super huge! The shell is hard and spiky as you need a very sharp knife to prise it open. You may also need a cloth or wear a glove to protect your hands as the spikes are really very sharp and it hurts if you are not careful!
The durian is bright green when immature and will turn brownish green when it matures. Depending on the cultivars and sizes, the number of seeds varies from about three to more than twenty. The seeds may be huge to mulilated mini sizes. Some cultivars have small seeds enclosed by huge fleshy pulps. This are considered as value for your money as the durians does not come cheap! Considering that the bulk of the weight are from the heavy shells and the seeds. So, probably only less than thirty percent of the total weight are from the edible pulps. The seeds are edible too if only it is cooked or boiled as raw seeds are toxic.
The fleshy pulps may range from almost off white, mild yellow, deep yellow to almost orange. Let's count out the red pulp as this species does not have it. The picture shown above is of the 'deep yellow flesh' variety. The taste may be mildly sweet, sweet, bitter sweet or bitter. It may be creamy, dry or wet. You will need an aquired taste to love durians. You will either love it and swear by it or hate it and avoid it like a plague! Most durians have a very strong pungent that will fill the room and the smell will lingers for days if is in an enclosed room. Smells great if you love durians but smells terrible odor and offensive if you hate it!
Most durians are eaten raw but there are also numerous ways to eat it. There are candies, cakes, mooncakes, sweets, desserts, milkshakes, paste, cooked or fried etc.
And lastly, you will not want to stand under a druian tree as it can be fatal if it falls on your head! Once it is ripe, it will fall from the tree.
Fruit: Durian; Durio; Helicteroideae; Malvaceae.
Other fruit in the same family: Okra
Click here to view other fruits in thumbnail images
Click here to have a say in your favorite fruits