Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I can't remember if I've commented on durian here or not. . . if I have, please forgive me for repeating myself, but there are some things this American just cannot get used to, and durian is one of them.

For those of you who don't know, durian is a tropical fruit that is quite popular in Asia. I has a spikey outer shell and a fleshy orangish-yellow inside.

If only I could somehow figure out a way to make a scratch-and-sniff post, I can nearly guarantee that 100% of my readers would know exactly what I mean when I say durian is definitely the worst smelling fruit in the world.

I know I am not alone in this opinion since the nasty-smelling fruit is banned from nearly every public place here in Singapore. You see signs (like the one at the right) in every train, bus, and mall. How people can get the fruit close enough to their mouth to eat it, I don't know. The smell is overwhelming from even 100 feet away.

Despite its nasty scent, durian is popular here amongst the locals. You can find a wide variety of durian products: durian candy, durian pastries, durian ice cream, fresh durian, dried durian, and durian perfume (just kidding).

I must admit that Singapore is known for its discriminating and refined cusine, but somehow or other, durian slipped under the radar. An amazing feat for such a stinky fruit!


Christianne said...

that sign is hilarious. can you give an estimation of what it smells like so we can try to imagine it? i am truly amazed that something can smell this strongly and badly from 100 feet away!

tenthstreetplace said...

remember when I had Durian ice cream and the man selling it could not understand why I did not like it?!

tenthstreetplace said...

The closest thing that I think that it smells/taste like is rotten eggs and sulfur!

S & C & C's Gram said...

From http://www.npr.org/templates/story/

"If dragons really existed, this would be their fruit. The stench of a ripe durian, like a dragon's breath, is enough to make some people gag."

Give me my American apples, oranges and bananas!

Rebecca said...


Tenthstreetplace is close in her description, but I would add stinky feet and sour milk to the mixture. Put all that together and you have a close idea of how durian smells. There is absolutely nothing like it in the US. . . at least nothing that is classified as food! =)

grandma said...

How about limberger (sp) cheese??? is that close????

Gina Marie said...

I think durian smells like the most rotten melon you can imagine. Shoved up your nose.

Have you tried durian Rebecca? I tried it in the sense that I put it in my mouth, but it didn't make it past my tongue. I'd rather eat almost anything else.

a Singaporean said...

You just need to get used to it!

In fact, the durian is so popular in Singapore that it has been nicknamed 'the king of fruits'!

My guess is that there must be a certain gene in our bodies which is different in Asians and Americans or Europeans. That's the reason why you might find the taste of Durian unbearable.

danlow said...

Im from s'pore but i still can't stand it.:)

donna said...