Durian – The King of Fruits

The durian (/ˈdjʊəriən/) or /ˈdʊriən/ is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. There are 30 recognised Duriospecies, at least nine of which produce edible fruit, and over 300 named varieties in Thailand, 102 in Indonesia, and 100 in Malaysia. Curio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions.

The name durian comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) together with the suffix -an (for building a noun in Malay). 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

The durian, a fruit with a spiky outer shell and a characteristic odour is a local tropical fruit that is notable because it provokes strong emotions either of loving it or hating it. It is also known as the “King of the Fruits”. Several species of durian exist throughout Malaysia – common cultivars come with pale cream or yellow coloured arils, whereas some varieties found in Borneo are naturally bright red, orange or even purple in colour.

Regarded by many people in Southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”, the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered rind. 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.

Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance, whereas others find the aroma overpowering with an unpleasant odour. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour, which may linger for several days, has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia.

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