Thursday, 9 September 2010

Durian - The 'King of Fruits'

Durian
When strolling through Thai markets or supermarkets passing the fruit section, you may notice an unfamiliar somewhat pungent smell. This is the unusual aroma of Durian.

Appearance:
In its uncut form, it can be recognized by its brownish green thorn like tough skin. Once opened, the flesh is typically a pale yellow or cream colour, but some species of the 'King Fruits', as it is locally nicknamed, can be red or bright yellow.

Taste and Texture:
The fruit is often referred to as tasting like a creamy almond custard. Upon eating the fruit, you will notice that it is soft, smooth and has no juice. Many also like to eat it due to its nutritional value as it is high in protein and carbohydrates.

Uses:
Durian fruit can be eaten raw just like any other fruit. It is common in Thailand for it to be mixed with pumpkin and transformed into a paste. The paste is a dark brunt orange colour and is sold in tubes. It is then used as fillings for foods such as moon cakes, cakes and biscuits. Western foods such as milkshakes and ice creams have been given a Thai twist with durian flavouring being added to them turning the fruit into drinks and desserts.

Customs:
It is not uncommon for high class supermarkets, restaurants and even hotels to have signs present that state 'No Durian'. This is purely due to its smell, as many westerners in particular do not like the fruit and find it off putting. People within Thailand and throughout other Asian countries such as Malaysia and China, also believe that to eat the fruit with alcohol is bad for you. An Asian Myth states it causes bad breath, which in turn reduces the body's ability by 70% to release harmful toxins.