Strawberries, apples, bananas, and more. These are just some of the fruits that everyone around the world knows and loves. Fruits are a staple food known around the world, but some are more well-known than others. Most of these interesting unknown fruits are only used in some places and are considered exotic in others. In Southeast Asia, there’s a popular fruit that is used ubiquitously, beloved and is virtually unknown outside of the region. It is eaten raw or used in many dishes, and it is a staple food for many people. This wonderful fruit which has defined the national identity of many Southeast Asian identities and has cemented its place on the dinner tables and hearts of many. In the modern age, people even get their fill of the fruits via durian delivery!
What is this fruit that Southeast Asia adores? The answer: durians!
What is durian?
Known as the “king of fruits,” the durian is a fruit that grows on some tree species from the genus Durio. Only nine species of these trees produce edible fruit, but farmers all over the region have grown hundreds of varieties so far. There is only one specie that produces fruit grown in international markets, but each variety generally looks fairly similar to each other. Durian is also native to Singapore!
Durians are a large oval-shaped fruit that can grow up to a foot in length and can weigh several pounds. Its appearance consists of a greenish or brownish hue and a very spiky husk. When split open, the durian has a fleshy interior that looks yellowish-green or other colors, depending on the species. The edible parts are the two halves of the creamy flesh.
The controversy behind durian
Durians, though exotic, are slightly famous outside the region, but for notorious reasons. The distinctive traits of durians aren’t its odd spiky appearance or its exotic rarity. The number one reason that durians have a reputation internationally is because of the smell that it exudes once its husk is removed. Its flesh has a peculiar smell that smells sweet to some, but overpowering to many others. Its smell has been likened to rotting garbage, turpentine, sewage, onions, and many other unpleasant smells. People’s reactions to the unique aroma range from appreciation to repulsion.
So potent is the smell that it lingers in an area for several days. In fact, durians have been banned from certain hotels, public transport, and even airlines in several countries. You could be fined for eating durians in some public places. There were even reports of places being evacuated because people mistook its smell for a gas leak!
Why eat durians, then?
With its potentially foul smell that could turn many first-time tasters off, why would anyone like eating durians? Surely with a smell like that, there couldn’t be any reason why people should be using it in so many dishes?
You’ll be surprised how many reasons there are for people to love durians. Let’s see the various reasons why people want to eat durians.
- Durians are nutritious! Durians are loaded with many essential vitamins and minerals that are good for your body and overall health. Durian is very healthy compared to a lot of other vegetables and fruits. Durian is a superfood that can boost immune systems and serve other purposes.
- Exotic foods. Durian is in many different kinds of foods. It is a versatile ingredient that adds a lot of zing into dishes that can be both savory or sweet. There are famous dishes all around Southeast Asia that use durian, from stews to creams and much more. There are even savory durian soups and salads that add a punch of durian!
- Flavoring. It’s not just a staple ingredient, it’s used to flavor things as well. Durian’s sweet taste is one that a lot of sweet tooths enjoy. There are durian flavored cakes, muffins, cheesecakes, even ice creams! Sweet pastries are specifically made with durian flavors.
- Taste. As stated in point number three, the flavor of durian is a beloved and familiar flavor for many in Southeast Asia. If you can get past the distinct smell, you’ll find that this fruit has a flavor and texture like no other. It tastes somewhat creamy and milky, or like a custard with a mellow taste. Because of the sweet yet light taste, it is a complement to other, bolder flavors.
- Durian as antioxidants. Rich in antioxidants, durian has many detoxifying properties. It’s a good alternative to other fruits and foods you eat for anti-aging and health-related reasons.
- Easy to find. As a native tree that grows in Singapore, durians are very easy to find. You can see them in many grocery stores or markets, as well as other convenient places. Nowadays, you can even order them same-day via durian delivery services.
And it seems like our love for the spiky, smelly, yet strangely tasty fruit isn’t going to go away soon. Want to try high-quality durians? Have it given straight to you via Durian Delivery SG’s services.