Durian in case you didn’t know is a large exotic fruit from South East Asia. According to those who eat it, it has a rich custard like texture, and is often called by the people who love the fruit, it is the fruit of heaven. For others it is the fruit of hell.
The forbidden fruit was originally found in the garden of Eden. It was an apple. But a durian? So why is Durian the forbidden fruit?
The reason behind it is simple to explain. It has a confusing smell and flavour. Both smell and flavour people love or hate. It has a sweet smell behind it as well as a malodorous one as well. Same as the flavour, it is beautiful and disgusting a the same time. It stinks and tastes disgusting simple.
For this reason you’ll find in signs in hotels stating that it is forbidden to consume Durian in the area. The MRT in Singapore has it banned on their train system. Some Singaporeans will say that durian “is not ok la!”
When you arrive in Southeast Asia the locals will often ask if you have tried a durian, and if you would like to try it for a joke. What a surprise for those who don’t know about it.
Wikipedia have quoted a few people’s comments on the durian fruit;
Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:
… its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.
“Three scientific analyses of the composition of durian aroma — from 1972, 1980, and 1995 — each found a mix of volatile compounds including esters, ketones, and different sulphur compounds, with no agreement on which may be primarily responsible for the distinctive odour.”
“This strong odour can be detected half a mile away by animals, thus luring them. In addition, the fruit is extremely appetising to a variety of animals, including squirrels, mouse deer, pigs, orangutan, elephants, and even carnivorous tigers.While some of these animals eat the fruit and dispose of the seed under the parent plant, others swallow the seed with the fruit and then transport it some distance before excreting, with the seed being dispersed as a result. The thorny, armoured covering of the fruit discourages smaller animals; larger animals are more likely to transport the seeds far from the parent tree.”
The last comment is quite interesting to note. It is a fruit that is made appetising to both flesh eating animals and also animals that prefer sweet-smelling fruits. It is appetising to both if they can acquire a taste of the opposite of what they normally eat.
Also the smell of sulphur is never a pleasing thing to encounter. Ever been to a seaside lake with lots of seaweed at low tide? Try Lake Illawarrra.
To view the whole article about this pungent fruit
To see some Singlish Slang at Wikipedia click here. Ok la!
- Durian (shortoncache.wordpress.com)
- Durian – Nature’s Answer to Smelly Feet (hotpottimemachine.wordpress.com)