Nick named ‘King of Fruits’; durian is highly valued in Southeast Asian countries. Durian has a very distinguished smell and its skin is thorny and hard. The dimension of a durian fruit is about 30 – 15 cm and its weight is about three Kgs. Durian flowers bloom in a cluster and there are about three to thirty identical clusters borne on its trunk and large branches. Every flower has sepals and about five to six petals. Durian is round although the oblong shape is not irregular. The shells are green or brown while its flesh is a luminous yellowish or reddish color.
The degree of ripeness has an effect on the flavor of durian. Scientific analysis done on the durian aroma has found a mixture of esters, ketones, and different sulphur compounds, but could not distinguish which one is the primary contributor of the strong odor. The odor of the edible parts of durian is so penetrating; it spreads a long distance even without removing the shell. Some like the aroma of durian very much while some others highly despise its scent.
Durian trees yield two harvests per year, but it may vary in keeping with the various climates, cultivars and places. Durian trees bear fruit after 4 -5 years and they take about three months to ripe. From a great variety of durian, only the Durio ziebethinus variety is marketed internationally.
Durian shells are green or brown while its flesh is a luminous yellowish or reddish color. The odor of the edible parts of durian is so penetrating; it spreads a long distance even without removing the shell. Some like the aroma of durian very much while some others highly despise its scent.
Without refrigeration the fruit has a shelf life of only 2 -5 days. Fermented durian, wrapped in palm leaves, remain palatable for up to a year. The preparation is called “tempoyak” in Malaysia and Indonesia and is a popular side dish. They may also be used mixed with rice and sugar to make “lempok”, or minced with salt, onions and vinegar, for “boder”. Durian seeds may be roasted in hot ashes, or cut into slices and fried in spiced coconut oil. They are eaten with rice, or mixed with sugar to make a sweetmeat. Half-ripe fruit are used in soups. The durian is not only a meal to the lover, but has in fact the requisite food values. Though the fruit has much waste, it is very filling and high in proteins, minerals and fats.