What is durian

Some people may not know what durian is. Well to clear things up it is a fruit. It belongs to several tree species and its genus is Durio and the Malvaceae family. However some taxonomists place the Durio in a separate family, Durionaceae. In South East Asia it is commonly known as “The King of Fruits”. With its unique odour and relatively large size accompanied with a tough thorn-covered husk it is an easy fruit to distinguish. Durian is actually an Indonesian word meaning “thorny” which goes hand in hand with its appearance. It is infamous for its weird foul smell. The fruit can grow up to 30cm long and over 15cm in diameter at its largest with a weight of about 3kg. It is normally an oblong shaped fruit with the husks being a green to brown colour and its flesh being a pale yellow to red colour, all of which is dependent upon the species.

When picking durians they are said to be at their most ripe when the husk is just about to crack. Although the ideal stage of ripeness tends to vary a lot depending on the region and species of the durian. There are numerous preferences about durian ripeness among consumers making it difficult to give a general rule about picking a durian at the marketplace. The ripening of a durian can occur for up to 4 days after falling from a tree but it is generally considered that after 6 days it is too ripe and not worth consuming. However you can tell the freshness of a durian by simply examining the quality of the stem or stalk which tends to lose moisture as it ages; a large and solid stem is therefore a sign of freshness.

Being a sweet fruit, durian is used in many dishes across South East Asia. It is commonly used in Malay candy, dodol, ice kacang and durian ice cream is especially popular in Indonesia. Durian also provides good nutrition as it is a great source of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is high in sugar, vitamin C and potassium.

The average cost of a kilo of durian is about $12 to $22. The actual edible portion of the fruit which is known as the aril and usually known as the flesh or pulp only consists of about 15-30% of the whole fruits mass which on average is about 1.5 kilograms.

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