A cut durian amongst whole durians.
The Polarizing Flavors Of Durian And How It Links To The Smell
People's reactions to durian fruit often sit on two extremes. It's an intriguing paradox of a fruit that is as beloved for its unique taste as it is detested for its strong odor.
Those who detest the smell of durian often compare the taste to “dirty diapers” or even “cat poo.” Those who love it despite the smell describe the flavor as heavenly or divine.
One bite of durian yields quite the sensory experience. The flesh beneath the spiky skin has a bold sweetness and a rich, cheesecake-like texture.
The texture of the flesh is also described as similar to thick yogurt or ice cream, and is full of polarizing flavors like vanilla, sweet fruit, fermented tofu, and a hint of onion.
Beyond being a standalone delicacy, durian is featured in countless desserts from across the Asian continent, like mooncakes, bingsu shaved ice, egg tarts, and bao buns.
In some countries, durian also stars in savory dishes like pizza and pasta. In Malaysia and Taiwan, you can even find ramen with durian served in a hollowed-out durian shell.
Durian's flavor may be similar to its smell, but not as strong. For adventurous eaters who approach the fruit with an open mind, it offers a gustatory delight fit for royalty.