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GlobePreneurs Love: The Durian Fruit

The GlobePreneur lifestyle can be very stressful. But we have the opportunity to savor exotic foods around the world. Our GlobePreneurs Love series brings you a ‘taste’ of some of the amazing experiences, fruits and cuisines from different corners of the globe.

First in the series is the durian. The durian is a unique tropical fruit, popular in Southeast Asia, where it is known as ‘the king of fruits’ (despite its strong aroma). Durian has more nutrients than most other fruits and been used in traditional Asian medicine.

Appearance: Durian is a tropical fruit distinguished by its large size and spiky, hard outer shell. It has a smelly, custard-like flesh with large seeds. The fruit’s flesh can range in color, although is usually yellow, white or golden. Durian grows in tropical regions around the world, particularly in the Southeast Asia.

Use: Durian is used in sweet and savory dishes. Both the creamy flesh and seeds are edible, although the seeds need to be cooked. The flavor is described as tasting like custard, cheese and caramel combined. Some popular food preparations of durian fruit include: smoothies, crepes, soup, candy, ice cream and other desserts. It is also used as a vegetable side dish, and some are dried/dehydrated as chips. The seeds can boiled or roasted. The durian is  used in traditional medicine and has some medicinal properties that are currently being studied.

Nutrition: Durian is very high in nutrients compared to most fruits.It is also rich in healthy plant compounds, including anthocyanins, carotenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids. Many of these function as antioxidants per the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.


Health Benefits: All parts of the durian plant (leaves, husk, roots and fruit) have been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat a variety of illnesses, including high fever, jaundice and skin conditions per US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.

Studies have shown that durian fruit may have the following health benefits:

  1. Reduce cancer risk. Its antioxidants may neutralize cancer-promoting free radicals. For example, studies show durian extract prevented a strain of breast cancer cells from spreading.
  2. Prevent heart disease. Several compounds in durian may help lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries.
  3. Fight infection. The rind contains antibacterial and anti-yeast properties.
  4. Lower blood sugar. Durian has a lower glycemic index than other tropical fruits i.e. it may lead to a lower blood sugar spike. It may also prevent some glucose from being absorbed and stimulate insulin to be released.

While these studies are promising, many of them have been done on animals or in test- tubes, not humans yet.

Care: Consuming durian and alcohol at the same time as can cause problems. It’s suggested that the sulfur-like compounds in durian may prevent certain enzymes from breaking down alcohol, causing increased alcohol levels in the blood. This could lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and heart palpitations, according to some studies. To be safe, it’s best to avoid eating durian and drinking alcohol at the same time.

How to Eat Durian: Opening a durian’s hard, spiky shell often requires gloves to protect your hands, per video. The shell needs to be cut with a knife and then you can  open it with your hands. Then, gently remove the sections of durian flesh.

You can then eat it fresh on its own, paired with sticky rice or prepared. There are many recipes on the internet. The flesh is also sold frozen, which slightly changes the texture and flavor, making it looser, more stringy and less aromatic. You can also find durian in prepared foods, such as candy, smoothies, yoghurt and ice cream.

Aroma: The aroma and taste of durian fruit may be an acquired one. Some people love it, others hate it. The smell is very strong and has been described as a combination of roasted and rotting onion, sulfur, sewage, fruit and honey. Hence, it’s forbidden from many hotel rooms and public transport systems in Southeast Asia.

Conclusion: The Durian’s smell and taste is definitely not for everyone, but worth a try. For the adventurous connoisseurs and/or cook, you never know, you may end up loving it! So next time you are in Asia and/or near an Asian market, why not try some durian… it can add different flavors to your life!

Are you a durian fan? Please feel free to connect and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter!

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  1. May 19, 2017    

    Such an intriguing looking fruit! I’ve never seen that one available in our UK supermarkets, but I’d love to try it one day!

  2. Daniela Miovska Daniela Miovska
    May 20, 2017    

    I have never tried it, it looks a bit strange, but from the description I believe it is quite tasteful. The healthy benefits are a plus. I am trying it if I get the occassion.

  3. May 20, 2017    

    Durin looks like a fruit called cupuacu in Brazil. But I’m amazed how it can be used in a variety of ways. Plus, the health benefits are pretty impressive. Great post!

  4. Ali Rost Ali Rost
    May 20, 2017    

    What an interesting and intriguing fruit! I had to smile when I saw it .. it looks like a mini porcupine. I’ve never seen one here in the U.S .. although I’ll definitely keep my eye out when we’re traveling. I love that you featured different ways to use it as well

  5. Tina Tina
    May 20, 2017    

    I’ve never seen this fruit but it is very interesting to look at! Wonderful, thoroughly written post.

  6. Rikki Singh Rikki Singh
    May 20, 2017    

    it’s such a good food for us thanx to share

  7. May 21, 2017    

    I’d love to try it someday.Looks delicious! Plus I Luv variety

  8. May 21, 2017    

    Great article and such good us of the food !

  9. May 21, 2017    

    Not actually heard of this fruit before but would love to try up for all the health benefits you’ve mentioned

  10. May 21, 2017    

    I have heard of it but never tried it before. It looks interesting to me and somewhat looks like litchi. Thanks for detailed info.

  11. May 21, 2017    

    Now I know more about the health benefits of this fruit. Thanks for sharing.

  12. May 21, 2017    

    I have never had a durian, but i have heard it smells weird.

  13. May 21, 2017    

    The durian fruits I’ve heard of it before but I’ve never gotten the chance to taste it before thanks for the info

  14. Ewa Ewa
    May 21, 2017    

    Durian is on the list of fruits I would like to try.
    I had no idea that this is also healthy.

  15. May 21, 2017    

    I miss durian so much right now!! Durians are an absolute favourite for Malaysians and when the durian season is here, the whole Malaysia go mad!

  16. May 21, 2017    

    Such a lovely fruit I came to know of! Really doubtful that we get here in India, specially in Delhi. Will search for sure.

  17. May 23, 2017    

    Durian looks like soursop in terms of the spiky cover. I am tempted to try one if I happen to come come across it in one of the market here.

  18. Anamika Anamika
    May 23, 2017    

    never heard it before … Very nice information … Thanks for the post it will really help to us to know about such fruit.

  19. May 23, 2017    

    Very new for me but looks very healthy and your blog is informative

  20. May 23, 2017    

    Durians are great….love them, can’t have much of them tho. Yumness! thanks for sharing great post.

  21. May 23, 2017    

    I had never heard of this fruit before but I would love to try it out. Especially with ice cream!

    Gennifer Rose |

  22. July 30, 2017    

    I see this in two of our local stores – and I admit, I am intrigued. Yet the rumors of the intense smell has always discouraged me. This may, MAY, have changed my mind.

  23. August 6, 2017    

    Thanks for all the information. I have only ever heard this was a very strong smelling fruit and was not very good, although I have always wanted to see for myself. Now I really want to try one!

  24. August 10, 2017    

    That was very informative! Thank you!

  25. August 10, 2017    

    It is Durian season here at the moment and I am just going to eat is lovely and creamy very nice xxx

  26. August 29, 2017    

    Nice article, thanks for sharing

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