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All about the tropical Asian fruit, Durian


At worst, the smell has been compared to the stench of a public lavatory; at best, a rotting Camembert cheese sweetened with honey. I agree with neither description. My first date with the king of fruits was at age nine when I was still adventurous enough to try anything. From the very first moment I bit into its pungent, pulpy flesh, sparks flew.


I wouldn’t peg myself as a fruit lover in general; in fact, I openly pour scorn on anyone who chooses fruit salad over a hot chocolate cake for dessert. So, my love affair with durian is a bit of a personal coup. I’m even strangely protective of the fruit; anyone who slags it off without having tasted it should, in my opinion, be forced to eat their way out of a durian-filled bathtub. But despite my passionate affection for durian in all of its stinking glory, I rarely get the opportunity to chow down.


As any aficionado knows, the best place to get your fix is in Geylang, but because I don’t know anyone else who likes durian and I’m too chicken to sit on a street corner in knocking-shop central by myself, I miss out. And I daren’t bring it into my condo for fear of being lynched by the neighbours (not to mention my husband). I suppose I could buy it pre-packed in the supermarket and eat it in the car park, but I fear that the resulting (and guaranteed) deluge of durian-burps might put a strain on my marriage.

I wish I could convince people of the durian’s virtue and offer convincing justification for its existence, but what hope is there when I can’t even convince my own husband to try it? The good news is that we have just moved to a new condo and our new apartment has a bathtub.

Durian Fast Facts

A durian is a large, oblong fruit that can grow up to 12 inches in length. It’s spiky on the outside;
   on the inside are big, yellow seeds surrounded by a custardy pulp.

In Singapore, durian is banned on public transport

The word durian is derived from the Malay word duri, which means thorn

Durian season is from June to August

Where to get it: Wonderful Fruit Enterprise, 147 Sims Ave, Geylang. There are lots of other durian sellers in this area, too.

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