|A bunch of durian|
There are currently 30 recognised species (see the List of Durio species)
The durian (//) is the edible fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit, with over 300 named varieties in Thailand and 100 in Malaysia, as of 1987. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. It is native to Borneo and Sumatra.
Named in some regions as the "king of fruits", the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and thorn-covered rind. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 inches) long and 15 cm (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs 1 to 3 kilograms (2 to 7 pounds). 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.
Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance, whereas others find the aroma overpowering and unpleasant. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour, which may linger for several days, led certain hotels and public transportation services in Southeast Asia to ban the fruit. However, the nineteenth-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described its flesh as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds". The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet desserts in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked.
From Malay durian, ultimately from Proto-Austronesian *duʀi (“thorn”). Doublet of iwi, from Māori.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdʊə.ɹɪən/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈdʊə.ɹi.ən/, /ˈdʊə.ɹiˌɑn/
durian (plural durians)
- Any of several trees, genus Durio, of Southeast Asia.
- The spiky edible fruit of this tree, known for its strong taste and very strong, unpleasant odor.
- 1692, Robert Boyle, General Heads for the Natural History of a Country Great or Small, London: John Taylor and S. Hedford