Durian a spiny oval tropical fruit containing a creamy pulp.
There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit.
The earliest known European reference to the durian is the record of Niccolò Da Conti, who travelled to south-eastern Asia in the 15th century.
First used around 1588, the name “durian” is derived from the Malay language word duri (meaning “thorn”), a reference to the numerous prickly thorns of the rind, together with the noun-building suffix -an.
Durian trees are large, growing to 25–50 meters (82–164 ft) in height depending on the species.
The leaves are evergreen, elliptic to oblong and 10–18 centimeters (3.9–7.1 inches) long.
The flowers are produced in three to thirty clusters together on large branches and directly on the trunk. Durian trees have one or two flowering and fruiting periods per year, although the timing varies depending on the species, cultivars, and localities.
The durian fruit can hang from any branch, and matures roughly three months after pollination. The fruit is spherical and 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) in diameter and 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. The shell is covered with stout spines and contains five oval compartments, each filled with a cream-coloured pulp in which are embedded one to five chestnut-sized seeds.
The unusual flavour and odour of the fruit have prompted many people to express diverse and passionate views ranging from deep appreciation to intense disgust.
Durian has a pungent odour, which has been compared to that of Limburger cheese; for this reason, the fruit is banned from public transportation in some places.
The durian is regarded by many people in Southeast Asia as the “king of fruits.”
There are 147 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of durian.
Raw durian is composed of 65% water, 27% carbohydrates, 5% fat and 1% protein.
Durian provides plenty of vitamins like A, B complex, and C and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper, as well as the amino acid tryptophan. It is also an excellent source of dietary fibre.
Health areas that durian is said to positively impact include digestion, blood pressure and cardiovascular health, aging, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, cancer, bone health, and anemia. It also boosts HDL (good cholesterol) and can even help improve serotonin levels which can improve your mood and ease depression.
It is strictly tropical and stops growing when mean daily temperatures drop below 22 °C (72 °F).
Although the durian is not native to Thailand, Thailand is ranked the world’s number one exporter of durian; Malaysia and Indonesia follow.
A common local belief is that the durian is harmful when eaten with coffee or alcoholic beverages. The latter belief can be traced back at least to the 18th century when Rumphius stated that one should not drink alcohol after eating durians as it will cause indigestion and bad breath.
This fruits are eaten by many animals and are an important part of local ecosystems.
Durian is related to breadfruit (Artocarpis communis) and jackfruit (A. heterophyllus), which are used similarly throughout tropical Asia and the South Pacific.