The first time I smelled durian I was in Vietnam. It is not a pleasant scent. People compare the smell to that of dirty diapers or porta-potties, yet it is an Asian treat.
Recently I was taking a train down the coast here in Taiwan, and this old lady busted out her bag of durian. The thing about the stink is that it’s pungent. It’s not that it smells; it’s that you can smell it from a mile away that makes it so offensive.
So if it smells so bad why is it so popular? Well, durian is a very healthful fruit; Durian contains more potassium than bananas, it has a wide range of minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. It is also a uniquely high source of b-complexes among fruits. Durian has a lot of dietary fiber and, having soft flesh, is easily digestible.
Ok, ok, ok. So the question you are all asking. How does it taste? Not bad. It’s sweet. It has a strange texture, but it isn’t nauseating once it reaches your mouth.
It is less stinky if you chill or even freeze it. If you are spending time in Asia or anywhere else that you come across some durian, give it a shot…but hold your breath.