You can smell this fruit from beyond the horizon with its distinctive and pungent aroma permeating through the air. Those that love it swear by the sweetness of its smell, whilst those not as in love would testify to smelling the sewers or natural gas. It’s as distinctive in its kill-able shape as its smell. Look at these deadly cherries.
Guessed it? That’s right. Today’s word of the day is: durian (榴槤).
The reason durian has been picked is because I recently tried durian flavoured ice cream and was reminded of how delicious this fruit really is. Regarded as having aphrodisiac properties, durians are also known to be high in protein and are most popular in South East Asia.
Although native to Malaysia, durians are also grown in Australia. They were introduced into Queensland in the 1970s. When they ripen, people should stay well clear for they simply just fall out of the trees. People are known to have died from getting hit on the head by a falling durian. Newton would not have discovered gravity if he was struck in Kuala Lumpur.
People are also known to have died eating durian too. One fellow ate four durians with alcohol before convulsing and giving up the ghost. It is supposed folklore that alcohol and durians should not be consumed together. Many stick by it, but some have been game to gamble with a supposed fermentation reaction that causes bowels to explode.
The Thais and Chinese know that durians are highly “heaty” (溼熱). It is commonly suggested that they be eaten together with mangosteens (山竹果), which are “cooling” (涼), and can counter the “heaty” nature of the durian. It is for this reason that the mangosteen is known as the queen of fruits. Their similar harvest times makes this description even more apt.
Durians are harvested in Australia during February and March. In South East Asia, they are harvested from May to July. Generally in Australia durians can be bought frozen at around $4-6/kg. An average durian is several kilograms. Until then, durian flavoured ice cream would be the way to go.