What does durian taste like?


Table of Contents

  1. What you should know about durian
    1. origin
    2. taste
  2. Shopping and cooking tips for durian
    1. Purchasing
    2. storage
    3. preparation
  3. Preparation tips for durian

What you should know about durian

The alias name of the durian doesn't sound particularly posh: We often call it "stink fruit", and with good reason. The durian, which is highly valued in Southeast Asia as the "queen of tropical fruits", actually exudes an almost hellishly penetrating smell. But connoisseurs believe that their pulp tastes all the more heavenly. Nevertheless, it is forbidden to enjoy durian in public places, e.g. in Thailand. Anyone who disregards the ban, e.g. in subways, airports or hotels, can be asked to pay with fines. Even taxi drivers in Southeast Asia usually refuse to transport passengers with a durian in their luggage.

Despite all this, the durian is still considered the most popular fruit in Southeast Asia and one of the coolest fruits in the world, even if even absolute fans prefer to eat it outdoors instead of at the dining table. When the harvest time for durian approaches, people like to celebrate it with guests in the garden, and opening the fruit is an honor that belongs to the landlord. This requires skill and strength: the very hard shell, covered with sharp and prickly thorns, is difficult to crack. If you can do it, you will find light yellow, soft pulp underneath. And a lot of it, depending on its size: A durian can be up to 30 cm long and up to 3 kg in weight.

The durian owes its name to its characteristic thorns, which are called "duri" in Malay.


The durian grows in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The best variety, however, is the Mao Shan Wang durian from Malaysia.


Connoisseurs describe the taste of durian as a mix of banana, caramel, vanilla, peach, pineapple, strawberry and almond.

How healthy is durian anyway?

In Southeast Asia, people have sworn for centuries that the consumption of durian awakens the lust for love, i.e. acts as an aphrodisiac. A Malaysian saying goes: "When the durian comes down, the sarong comes off."

This is of course not scientifically proven, but one thing is certain: Durian is not only a delicious "stink bomb", but also a vitamin bomb. It is particularly rich in provitamin A, which is important for good vision and healthy skin - 100 g of it contain a full 32 mg. That corresponds to the average requirement for a whole month!

But the vitamin C content of the durian is also impressive: Around 42 mg per 100 g cover a good 40 percent of the daily average requirement of 100 mg vitamin C.

Nutrian facts per 100 grams
protein3 g
fat0.5 g
carbohydrates27 g
Fiber4.5 g

Shopping and cooking tips for durian


Finding fresh durian with us is unfortunately a matter of luck. If you still get hold of one, you should shake it once before buying it: When the durian is ripe, you can hear the pits falling back and forth inside. Another signal for optimal ripeness is an almost golden color of the skin.


You can keep a fresh and ripe durian in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.


To open a durian, use a knife to pierce its shell in the middle of the brown bottom. Then turn the knife a few times to the left and right until the individual segments of the fruit open.

Finally, cut along the seams that are revealed, open the durian completely and remove the pulp.

Preparation tips for durian

In Southeast Asia, the pulp of ripe durian is best eaten straight and well chilled. You can of course mix it with other tropical fruits as a fruit salad, puree it and eat it as a sauce or make aromatic ice cream out of it.

Southeast Asians mostly use unripe durians as vegetables cooked in coconut milk. Incidentally, the kernels are not thrown away, but dried or roasted as a snack or ingredient for curries.