Recommended Posts

anyone who has tried durian has a strong opinion. are you a fan or do you hate it? personally, love them, which i am assured is strange as i detest pawpaw (papaya for those catching up).

here are 20 reviews of durian. if you have yet to try it, these make you more or less keen?

20 Attempts to Describe the Taste of Durian, the World’s Smelliest Fruit

December 7, 2018

The durian is a beloved delicacy in Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Its taste and smell, however, take some getting used to. The creamy fruit is notoriously potent—in fact, it’s so smelly that Singapore’s public transit systems tell passengers not to bring them onto subways or buses. And yet, despite its stinky reputation, it can be found practically everywhere: In curries, cakes, and even ice cream. For visitors, biting into the fruit can be an utterly confusing and contradictory experience. Here are some outsider opinions from the past 400 years.

1. “The flesh is as white as snow, exceeds in delicacy of taste of all our best European fruits, and none of ours can approach it.” —Jacques de Bourges, 17th Century Missionary

2. “Comparisons have been made with the civet cat, sewage, stale vomit, onions, and cheese; while one disaffected visitor to Indonesia declared that the eating of the flesh was not much different from having to consume used surgical swabs.” —The Oxford Companion to Food

3. “Tastes lightly sweet and deeply musky.” —Frommer’s Guide to Malaysia

4.ts odor is best described as pig-sh*t, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away.” —Richard Sterling, food writer

5. "To eat it seems to be the sacrifice of self-respect.” —Bayard Taylor, 19th-century Journalist

6. “To anyone who doesn’t like durian it smells like a bunch of dead cats. But as you get to appreciate durian, the smell is not offensive at all. It’s attractive. It makes you drool like a mastiff.” —Bob Halliday, Bangkok-based food writer

7. “Vomit-flavoured custard.” —The Rough Guide to Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei

8. “The smell of rotten eggs is so overwhelming. I suppress a gag reaction as I take a bite.” —Robb Walsh, food writer

9. “Like all the good things in Nature … 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.” —a "good friend" of Edmund J. Banfield, Australian Naturalist, as quoted in Banfield's 1911 book My Tropic Isle

10. “[Has a] sewer-gas overtone.” —Maxine E. McBrinn, Anthropologist

11. “Like pungent, runny French cheese … Your breath will smell as if you’d been French kissing your dead grandmother.” —Anthony Bourdain, Chef and Host of Parts Unknown

12. “On first tasting it, I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction, but after four or five trials I found the aroma exquisite.” —Henri Mouhot, French Naturalist, in Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China: Siam, Cambodia, and Laos, During the Years 1858, 1859, and 1860

13. “[Like] eating ice cream in an outhouse.” —As reported in Jerry Hopkins's Strange Foods

14. “I must say that I have never tasted anything more delicious. But not everyone can enjoy or appreciate this strange fruit for the disgusting smell that distinguishes it and that is apt to cause nausea to a weak stomach. Imagine to have under your nose a heap of rotten onion and you will still have but a faint idea of the insupportable odour which emanates from these trees and when its fruit is opened the offensive smell becomes even stronger.” —Giovanni Battista Cerruti, Italian Explorer, in 1908's My Friends the Savages

15. “It tastes like completely rotten mushy onions.” —Andrew Zimmern, Host of Bizarre Foods

16. “Like eating raspberry blancmange in the lavatory.” —Anthony Burgess, Novelist

17. “A rich custard highly flavored with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavor that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes." —Alfred Russel Wallace, 19th-century British Naturalist

18. “You will either be overcome, seduced by its powerful, declarative presence, or reject it outright. And run screaming." —Monica Tan, The Guardian Journalist

19. “Carrion in custard.” —A “Governor of the Straits” quoted in 1903's Hobson-Jobson: A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive

20. “Yes, I freely admit that when ripe it can smell like a dead animal. Yes, the fruit is difficult to handle, bearing likeness to a medieval weapon. But get down to the pale yellow, creamy flesh, and you’ll experience overtones of hazelnut, apricot, caramelized banana and egg custard. That’s my attempt at describing durian. But words fail; there is no other fruit like it.” —Thomas Fuller, New York Times Journalist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is god awful stuff and should be stricken from the earth. 

In my humble opinion. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tasted durian. No unpleasant odors that can cause disgust or spoil the appetite, I have not found

Maybe it was a special sort.

e0880f8fb29d33b23ab9ca858466ca9d.jpge60c36325eca0f95b4ba0f204f04873c.jpg

Also there are toffees of durian puree

c84db0f8ddd915b87d78984b8b7d3a8a.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, it's one of those fruits that is excellent when you have a really good example (kind of like cigars).  My better half loves them, I'm so so about it but admit it can be absolutely delicious despite the smell, which also varies (some durian smells more fragrant and pleasing than nasty).

There are smellier foods that taste worse than durian.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good durian is amazing.  As of last week, its just started coming back into season

.

Keep in mind, there are hundreds of different varieties available, the majority are mediocre.

 

To generalize, Thai durian is terrible.  Indonesian is acceptable.  The best are from Malaysia. 

I live in East Malaysia, our durian are great, but Peninsular Malaysian durian are the best.

Borneo has its own varieties only found here that are blood red and deep orange in color (loved by orangutans). 

 

If you want the best varieties, try musang king or D24, but be prepared to pay.

10 years back 1kg or musang king was around RM 6.00 per kg for whole fruit (USD1.50).  Since the Chinese have started seeking the best during, musang king will now usually set you back around RM 100 per kg  (USD 25). 

 

If you have never tried, don't go cheap or you will hate it.  Splurge on a great musang king and its hard not to love it.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

anyone who has tried durian has a strong opinion. are you a fan or do you hate it? personally, love them, which i am assured is strange as i detest pawpaw (papaya for those catching up).

Ken, interesting to know papaya is also called pawpaw.  Here in the southeastern USA there's a fruit tree called pawpaw that isn't papaya.  It's edible but isn't commercially viable apparently (maybe it spoils too fast).  I've seen them but never tried one.  Nor have I tried durian.  I would try either- depending on how foul the aroma was.  Speaking of papaya, isn't it called by a different name in Cuba because that word is slang for a part of the female anatomy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only had it once in ice cream from a filipina friend decades ago.  I liked it very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love fresh durian. It taste like a musky mango. I've tasted steak and onions through a sewage pipe with frozen durian.

I'm curious how some people in the original post could make their comparison. How does anyone know what a bunch of dead cats smells like? I demand an investigation!

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's something ethereal about durian. Mango custard manages to entwine itself with a rot and putridness that is revolting and beguiling simultaneously. It's sublime, repulsive, delicious, and corrupted all at the same time. What's not to love?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Andy04 said:

To generalize, Thai durian is terrible.  Indonesian is acceptable.  The best are from Malaysia. 

 

With all due respect, I prefer Cambodian durian 🤗

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had some recently in Singapore. Super buttery flavour. I like it but I only need a little.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of disappointed as I never got to try it while in Indonesia. Planning another vacation though, so will have to try then. Haven't decided where I'm going though. Somewhere in Asia lol

Everyone I know that has tried it wasn't a fan though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a Marmite/Vegemite kind of thread.

100% love the stuff - was exposed to it at a very young age when I lived in Malaysia as a kid.

Like others mentioned, there's "premium" varieties which are far tastier. I love the smell.

Looking forward to next month when I'm back in KL and will eat as much Musang King as I can :)

I remember years ago when D24 was the standard!

@Wilzc #thatdurianmooncake :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   *I've watched Andrew Zimmern enough to know that if even HE don't like it - then I KNOW I don't need to be trying it, and we have international groceries here that feature it in its own freezer tub. I've watched that man eat some shit that would gag a maggot with a Death Wish in tastes. And so if even he describes it as a rotten onion smelling and tasting something, then NO*THANK*YOU. I look at that the same as Limburger Cheese. I just can't see putting something in my mouth that smells like THAT!!! :no:   And I do recall seeing Travel Channel specials where they show Singaporean passengers aboard planes insisting that Durian NOT be eaten onboard! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Durian.  I'm not much of a fan of paw-paw either, primarily because of the smell, which is a bit strange.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally love Durian. My grandfather had a durian plantation in Penang when I was a kid and I used to eat durian almost every day when it was in season. But like blue cheese or fermented bean curd, it's a "love it or hate it" food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it even available in the USA? I have never seen it sold anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yummilicious! Love durians... It's in season now... Just got back Penang. It's true... Either you love it or hate it b920640ed1a71a25dd9563d8f6b0b85e.jpg

 

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yummilicious! Love durians... It's in season now... Just got back Penang. It's true... Either you love it or hate it b920640ed1a71a25dd9563d8f6b0b85e.jpg
 
Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 
 
 
 
Every culture has a food item or two that gets this reaction. This is one easy to love!

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NYgarman said:

Is it even available in the USA? I have never seen it sold anywhere.

STL here.  The biggest Asian market in the city stocks them by the pallet-full.  Never tried and now probably won't given the comments about the importance of quality in this thread.  Have no way of knowing if theirs are superb specimens or awful.  If I ask about provenance, likelihood of getting an accurate response minimal.  :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.