“When the durians fall down, the sarongs go up.” – Malay saying
Durian’s smell has been likened to “road kill wrapped in sweaty socks.” It’s so pungent that it’s been banned in most Asian airlines and hotels. And with a taste that has been described as “cheese, decayed onion and turpentine,” durian sounds like something you wouldn’t want in your garbage, let alone your mouth. So why are people willing to pay as much as $25-50 for this “king of fruits”?
The green, melon-sized durian grows on trees throughout Southeast Asia. The outside is covered with spiky thorns that can pierce even calloused hands. On the inside it has five oval compartments, each filled with pale, edible pulp and one to five large seeds. Since a durian can weigh as much as 18 pounds, farmers have been known to wear helmets to protect their heads when they harvest the fruit.