All About Durian
The durian originates from Indonesia and Malaysia, but now is grown in several Southeast Asian countries most notably Thailand, which has become the number one exporter of the fruit. Some people have described the durian scent as cheese-like, while others describe it as rotten onions. Banned on most public transportation, the exotic fruit has been known to repulse and delight. Bizarre Foods host, Andrew Zimmern, was absolutely revolted by the taste spitting out the fruit. On the other hand adventure traveler and culinary expert, Anthony Bourdain found a quiet spot and enjoyed the delicacy. With its spikey exterior the durian can grow as large as 12 inches and up to 10 pounds earning its nickname, the “King of Fruits.”
Durian season varies by its country of origin, but the durian tree fruits during the summer months around July and in the winter around January.
How to pick it
Durians can be hard to find in the USA. Look for them in Asian markets. When choosing a durian, first smell the fruit. If it has a strong odor the fruit is ripe. Then protect your hands from the thorny exterior and give the fruit a shake. If you can hear a rattle, it’s another sign of ripeness. Lastly, check the exterior for any holes or bruising. If none can be found the fruit is ripe.
How to store it
The durian fruit will last 1-2 days in the refrigerator after opening. If you would like to preserve your durian longer, scoop out the flesh and freeze.
How to prepare it
Make sure to wear protective gloves that will help you handle the thorny outer coating of the fruit. First cut off the top stem of the durian. Examine the outside of the fruit. The irregular outside shape is due to the inner pods. Using a large knife cut in between the pods from the bottom of the fruit. Cut along the perimeter of the fruit making sure not to cut too deep and into the flesh. Once you have cut around the whole fruit, pry the exterior apart with your hands. Remove the fruit from each pod. The coating will need to be cut again to access every pod. Once the fruit is removed, make sure to remove the seed that lie inside the flesh. The seeds can be cooked with sugar and eaten, but raw durian seeds are toxic.
We like it with
Sticky rice or coconut ice cream.