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Durian: a smelly fruit rich in benefits

Durian: a smelly fruit rich in benefits

Durian is a tropical fruit with a very intense smell and flavor. Let’s find out everything about its features and its main beneficial properties.

This fruit comes from the durian tree, a tropical plant belonging to the family of Malvacee, the same as the cocoa, hibiscus and red hibiscus plants. There are numerous varieties of durian, which grow in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. However, the only variety exported in Western countries is the Durio zibethinus.

Durians are easily recognizable, not only for their large size and for their thorny peel, but also – indeed above all – for their very intense aroma, considered a bad smell by many. The edible parts are the pulp, which is used for both savory and sweet dishes, and the seeds, are used after toasting them.

Durian: smell and appearance


The durian can grow to a large size (up to 30cm long and 8kg in weight) and has a thick and thorny skin, green or brown. Inside, its pulp is divided into sections, wrapped in a non-edible film. Durian pulp is yellow or red, and it has a particular smell. Some consider it sweetish and similar to almond scent, while others thinks it has an unbearable smell.

Durian smell persists for days once you have peeled the fruit. For this reason, in Asia peopleare not allowed to eat this fruit in many public places, means of transport and hotels. The flowers of the durian tree also have a very intense and acid smell, like sour milk.

Durian: taste and price

There are contrasting opinions also on the flavor of this exotic fruit. The natives of the countries in which it grows consider it the “king of fruits” for its heavenly taste, while most westerners think it is disgusting.

Each variety of fruit has a different flavor. For example, the one with yellow pulp reminds of caramel, while the red pulp one tastes more like toasted almonds. In any case, its extremely sweet flavor, along with its smell, make the durian unpleasant for many people.

It is a fruit hard to find in the West countries. That is why durian is very expensive: for example, 2kg of it may cost more than 60 euros.

Durian: properties and nutritional values

This fruit contains a lot of calories: 100 grams of pulp contain 150 kcal. 27% of its weight consists of carbohydrates, 5% of fats and only 1.5% of proteins. It also has high levels of vitamins of the B group (especially B1, B2 and B6) and C.

In addition, durians are rich in potassium and antioxidants (flavonoids, beta-carotene and anthocyanins), which have diuretic and detoxifying properties and helps fighting free radicals.



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