Durian is popular in Southeast Asia, but its smell puts a lot of people off. 2 months ago. The smell of durian is perhaps the hardest thing to explain about this fruit, and even though it sounds cliché, this is one of those aromas that you have to experience and smell for yourself to determine what it smells like. When picking out a durian fruit to buy, locals will first smell it, the stronger it smells, the better it will taste! Literally. And in November 2018, a cargo of durian caused an Indonesian plane to be temporarily grounded after passengers complained about the fruit's room-clearing stench in the cabin. Durian fruit is a large fruit with custard-like flesh and a hard, spiky shell. Many hotels, subways, and public spaces in Southeast Asia advertise a no-durian-fruit policy with signs of the spiky fruit crossed out in red. Durian fruit: A smell so rotten, a taste so sweet Why the world's best mathematicians are hoarding chalk The sibling rivalry behind Adidas versus Puma Searching for the oldest pub in the world It can be smelled from yards away.”. According to a 2009 Japanese study, durian extract strongly inhibits the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), used by the liver to break down alcohol. You can’t do lots of things on the Singapore Metro. California Do Not Sell My Info It can be smelled from yards away." Those who like the durian fruit in all probability love the smell too which they call as “aroma”. Published. Our “Off the Road” blog profiled a pair of intrepid travelers on a year-long journey planned around tasting different varieties of durian. The fruit from Southeast Asia is said to at best smell like rotten onions. It's definitely worth a try. Why does it smell good to some and bad to others? The pungent smell of Durian is so strong that the fruit is banned in many hotels, and on public transport across Asia. According to researchers, durians have such a strong smell because of sulphur compounds contained in the fruit, which is also the reason why durians have such a pungent scent. Durian's odor has been described as resembling dirty gym socks, rotten egg, cut onions, manure, and roadkill. Darren Logan answered on 9 Mar 2012: This is a great question! Sounds inviting, right? durian fruit, sense, smell; Asked by 09jhodge to Darren on 9 Mar 2012. I can’t tell you for sure why Durian has such a different affect on people exactly, but there is something else that smells bad to some people and not to others and I would guess its for the same reason. banned on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit, Our “Off the Road” blog profiled a pair of intrepid travelers, Study Rewrites History of Ancient Land Bridge Between Britain and Europe, For the Only Person Ever Hit by a Meteorite, the Real Trouble Began Later, Tens of Thousands of 12,000-Year-Old Rock Paintings Found in Colombia, Animals Are Using Utah's Largest Wildlife Overpass Earlier Than Expected, Why Iceland's Christmas Witch Is Much Cooler (and Scarier) Than Krampus, Megalodons, the Ocean's Most Ferocious Prehistoric Predators, Raised Their Young in Nurseries, Hegra, an Ancient City in Saudi Arabia Untouched for Millennia, Makes Its Public Debut, Why the P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II Beast of the Airways, Ruled the Skies, In Australia, Just One Wasp Can Ground an Airplane With a Strategically Placed Nest, The Distinctive ‘Habsburg Jaw’ Was Likely the Result of the Royal Family’s Inbreeding, Twelve Board Games You Can Play With Friends From Afar, The Inspiring Quest to Revive the Hawaiian Language, The New Science of Our Ancient Bond With Dogs, Why Seagrass Could Be the Ocean's Secret Weapon Against Climate Change. So, why does the durian smell so strong? It’s also used in traditional Asian medicine, as both an anti-fever treatment and a aphrodisiac. And what does it really taste like? What everyone can agree on is that the fruit’s odor, whether pleasant or dreadful, is uncommonly potent. "A total of twelve postal workers who complained of nausea had to be taken care of on site," police in Schweinfurt said, adding that six were taken to the hospital as a precaution. Good smelling chemicals like esters (such butanoates, cinnamates, and propanoates) were also found in the durian fruit. 12 postal workers complained of nausea, six were sent to hospital as a precaution, 6 ambulances and 7 other emergency vehicles rushed to the scene over the durian fruit smell. The durian fruit stinks. The durian, a husked tree fruit from Southeast Asia, may smell unspeakably terrible, but it still tastes sweet and delicious like its closely related cousin, the jackfruit. The entire building was evacuated, with around 60 employees forced to leave, before the package was carefully examined. Terms of Use Their analysis suggests that it is not any single compound but instead the mixture of different chemicals that produces the fruit’s powerful stench. Vote Now! Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. The spiky fruit's flavor and creamy texture has made it popular throughout Southeast Asia, but its infamous odor has gained it many detractors. “It's like a box of chocolates, but a bad box of chocolates” Check out more awesome videos at BuzzFeedVideo! Last year, staff at the University of Canberra library were forced to evacuate the building due to a suspected gas leak, but a search revealed the stench was in fact caused by the fruit. Although repulsive to most, some people adore the taste and smell of Durians and are willing to pay a wealth of money for this most expensive fruit. Due to its unusual smell, the durian fruit has gained a cult following and has a huge reputation among those brave enough to try it. Durians have a notorious aroma likened to rotting meat, turpentine and gym socks. Joseph Stromberg was previously a digital reporter for Smithsonian. on. Either you hate it, or you love it, but everyone who’s tried it has an opinion on the durian fruit. This fruit that shall not be named is none other than durian, of course. Durian fruit stink prompts university evacuation. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. (CNN)Twelve German postal workers received medical treatment and dozens more were evacuated due to a pungent suspect package -- which turned out to be a shipment of the notoriously smelly durian fruit. A small minority, though, love the smell and taste of the fruit. The smell of durian fruit is distinctive, lingering, and persistent; the odor penetrates into fabric and remains on your hands after eating. Durian is a fruit from Southeast Asia that’s famous for its large size, its thick and spiky shell, and its pungent smell and potent flavor. Durian is a tropical fruit distinguished by its large size and spiky, hard outer shell. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. The Durian's smell can resemble many things such as smelly cheese, dirty socks, vomit, rotten onions, antiseptic, cat pee, pig poo, and toilets! Advertising Notice I'd go the ice cream route if you're apprehensive, though. "Due to the unknown content, it was initially unclear whether the suspect package posed a greater risk," a statement from Schweinfurt police department explained. Three different fire departments were also involved. Of the durian, food writer Richard Sterling writes (via Smithsonian Magazine), "Its odor is best described as... turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. The durian may be banned in hotels and on public transport in several countries across the region, but the stinky Southeast Asian fruit is only growing in popularity It's namely dealt with the smell at that point and all you get is the sweet deliciousness that is durian. Now, in a new study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, a group of scientists from the German Research Center for Food Chemistry has attempted to figure out how exactly the fruit produces such a powerful stench. Smithsonian Institution. It turned out to contain four Thai durian fruits, which a 50-year-old resident of the town had sent home from a friend in Nuremberg. The fruit changes significantly over a very short period of time. Durians are banned on Signapore’s mass transit, among other public places, because of their potent scent. In fact, durian is known as the world’s smelliest fruit, and it has even been banned in some public spaces because of its smell. Give a Gift. There is no fruit quite like the durian, which has the appeal to entice even as it repulses. It is native to Borneo and Sumatra. Some describe the flesh as tasting similar, but fans of the fruit describe it as having notes of almond and with a custard-like texture. What’s interesting is that none of the compounds individually seem to match with the characteristic durian smell—they range widely, and include labels like fruity, skunky, metallic, rubbery, burnt, roasted onion, garlic, cheese, onion and honey. A number of them have been detected in just a few other substances, such as cooked beef, yeast extract, dried squid and leeks. I was enjoying eating this fruit almost every day and felt my health benefited so much from consuming this fruit. Yeah, you read that right—this has happened two times in one month. Singapore has prohibited the fruit in its subway system, and many hotels ban durians because of the smell -- which some critics have likened to rotten food or dirty socks. Somehow, the combination of these 50 chemicals produces the powerful scent that has entranced and repulsed people the world over. If you’ve never seen a durian fruit, it’s unlikely you’d miss it as you perused the farmers market. “The flesh is as white as snow, exceeds in delicacy of taste of all our best European fruits, and none … Roughly the size of a coconut or cantaloupe, and often even bigger, the durian fruit is green and spiky on the outside, with a soft flesh on the inside. Durian lovers say it has a sweet, custardy taste, with the texture of creamy cheesecake. Young vs old. According to the Spruce Eats, the smell of durian has been described as being like “dirty gym socks, rotten egg, cut onions, manure, and roadkill.” The strong odor of the fruit is thought to be attributed to the presence of sulfur compounds (like those … How can such an esteemed and expensive fruit smell so bad? CTN News . Durian has been described as the most foul-smelling fruit in the world. Durian Fruit Smell Triggers Evacuation of German Post Office. Continue Those compounds included eight that hadn’t been detected in durians before—and four compounds that had been completely unknown to science. In breaking down aroma extract, taken from Thai durians, with a mass spectrometer and gas chromatograph, the team, led by Jia-Ziao Li, pinpointed 50 discrete compounds in the fruit responsible for its uncommon aroma. It maybe unpleasant to some but not to those who are familiar with durians. Australia's largest durian farm is expected to produce around 20 tonnes of fruit this season, up from 5 tonnes Durians are regarded as the 'king of fruits', but many find their smell offensive One might say it smells like sewage mixed with gasoline. It's harder to smell when it's cold and it's a … It's native to Southeast Asia, and its smell has been likened to " Thai durian fruit caused pandemonium at a post office in a German town in Bavaria, … The spiky fruit's flavor and creamy texture has made it popular throughout Southeast Asia, but its infamous odor has gained it many detractors. Durian fruit has been making headlines recently for a very bizarre (and very stinky) reason: Two Australian libraries have been evacuated in the last month after patrons mistook the fruit’s foul odor for a gas leak. Durian fruit is well known for it's very strong smell. Durian Fruit – Banned from public! Image via Wikimedia Commons/Kalai, If you’ve smelled a durian even once, you probably remember it. It's not the first time durian has caused a panic. Six ambulances, five first-responder cars and two emergency vehicles attended the incident. The taste of Durian fruit really is a sweet creamy custard flavour that is just so delicious. The researchers published their results in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . Its aroma has been compared to raw sewage, rotting flesh and smelly gym socks. Police, firefighters and emergency services were called to a post office in the Bavarian town of Schweinfurt on Saturday after staff noticed the smell coming from a package. The compounds are identified by their chemical formulas, which are likely cryptic to anyone without a degree in organic chemistry (1-{sulfanyl}ethanethiol, for example), but the research team associated each one with a particular odor. Durian can be eaten raw, served with rice, or even fried. Flavors often attributed to the durian fruits are caramel and vanilla. 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. It’s … Privacy Statement Even apart from the smell, durians are a scientific marvel. Cookie Policy The smell of the durian fruit is commonly described as something between incredibly bad foot odour, a dirty nappy – and vomit. By Rob Picheta and Frederik Pleitgen, CNN. Anthony Bourdain calls it “indescribable, something you will either love or despise…Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.” The fruit’s flesh is sometimes eaten raw, or is cooked and used to flavor a number of traditional Southeast Asian dishes and candies. Even with the husk intact, the notorious Asian fruit has such a potent stench that it’s banned on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit. The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. Bringing Durian Fruit is one of them! Some liken the smell of durian to burning tyres – but once you’ve had a good one, you’ll understand the fever Durian: a tropical fruit with a divisive smell and devoted fans. I'm most familiar with processed durian in ice creams or frozen. The researchers also found a compound called 5-Hydroxy-methyl-furfural (5-HMF) in durian shells and durian seeds. Esters are chemicals that produce fruity smells like the pineapple aroma. June 24, 2020. By. Image via Wikimedia Commons/Steve Bennett. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. This might account for a piece of traditional Asian folklore: that getting intoxicated while eating durians can lead to death. I am glad I was able to get over the initial unpleasant smell to really appreciate Durians unique, exquisite taste.
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