Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Guess what I'm having for dinner? The popular Durian fruit everyone is talking about. I can't wait to see what it smells like!
The durian (IPA: [d̪uˈɾi.ɑn]) is the fruit of trees of the genus Durio belonging to the Malvaceae, a large family which includes hibiscus, okra, cotton, mallows and linden trees. Widely known and revered in Southeast Asia as the "King of Fruits," the fruit is distinctive for its large size, unique odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale-yellow to red, depending on the species. The hard outer husk is covered with sharp, prickly thorns, while the edible flesh within emits a distinctive odour, which is regarded as either fragrant or overpowering and offensive. Even when the husk of the fruit is still intact, the odour of the ripe fruit is very strong and penetrating. This unusual odour has prompted many people to formulate evocative descriptions, with views ranging from those of deep appreciation to intense disgust.
The name durian comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) together with the suffix -an (for building a noun in Malay), meaning "thorny fruit."