If it is your first time staying in Singapore, then you would not miss this exotic fruit: durian. Many online shops in Singapore are selling it because the locals can’t seem to get enough of this unique, strong-smelling fruit! Even though some people can’t stand the smell of it, the locals beg to differ.
In Singapore, the people even created seasons for it: durianseason and nodurian season. You are lucky if you decided to visit around June because this is the time where the durian season starts. Prices are also quite lower during this time. So, if you are an adventurous person, then you could get a taste of durian for an affordable price!
However, you may still be hesitant about the idea of eating durian because you probably have heard unpleasant reviews about it. It is especially true if you are a westerner, or you have westerner friends. They would strongly discourage you from trying out the fruit. Why? Simply because of its smell! If you do not have any idea about durian, then you would be baffled why some people are describing it as something like onions and soiled socks.
Why Does Durian Smell?
It would be hard to imagine how smelly durian is if you haven’t seen one. Just think of it this way, the smell is so strong that you can even smell it even though you are standing quite far from it. Moreover, usually, fruits only smell if you open them. However, durians that are sold online are different. The distinct smell is still emanating from it even though you haven’t opened it yet. So, imagine how stronger it would be if you left it opened on your countertop.
So, why does it smell? Does it have some kind of natural chemicals that makes it too smelly? According to some studies, durian is found to have some unique amino acids in it. It is called “ethionine”. This amino acid is responsible for producing an odorant, namedethanethiol. Their findings include that the smell would be more apparent whenever the durian fruit becomes ripe. This study was conducted by the researchers at the Technical University of Munich.
Another study that was reported in CNN showed that durian has many volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). This was responsible for the strong smell of durian. It was even mentioned that the smell it produces is made to attract the animals around. Attracting them to eat it would then help scatter the seeds around, and help it propagate.
Even though the smell of durian is irksome to some, online shops continue to sell it because it seems like the locals and other Asians (even a few westerners) still love the fruit. It remains as one of the most sought-after fruits in Singapore.
How Do You Eat Durian?
One way you can appreciate durian is knowing how to eat it. It is just like any other fruit where you cut it and take the flesh inside. However, it is not the same as cutting it in half like an apple. Here are some of the essential steps in eating durian:
- Use a knife and slice through the skin. Careful not to cut through all the way.
- Start with the sliced skin, and slowly open the fruit. Usually, the skin is soft, so you can easily rip it apart.
- Either use a spoon or your hands if you want to take out the “flesh”
- Before eating it directly, make sure you remove the seeds from the inside first.
- Do the same process with the other sections
Aside from eating it directly from the fruit, there are other ways on how you can enjoy the durian that you bought online. One of which is to freeze it. You could put it in a Tupperware, and add popsicles on each durian. Let it freeze overnight, and you can now enjoy frozen durian! Keep in mind that your refrigerator may smell if you try to leave your durian inside.
You could also try the durian-flavoured delicacies in Singapore! There are many pieces of bread and pastries filled with custard and durian fillings! Some shops even sell “Durian Kakigori” that is a similar rendition of the Japanese shaved ice dessert.
Why Do the Locals Still Eat it Despite that it’s Banned in Public Transportation?
The unusual thing in Singapore is that even though durian is so popular, it is banned in all public transportation lines. Some hotels and restaurants also implemented strict measures on not letting guests eat durian inside. There is even a fine for someone who is caught in the act of eating durian in public. It is because the smell is so strong that it would start to bother other people. Remember that not all have taken a liking to the fruit. Some are still adamant about it.
Despite the restrictions of eating durian in public places, this won’t stop the locals from purchasing and enjoying the exotic fruit. Many food hubs even use durian to complement other sweets and desserts like ice cream, popcorn and milkshakes. Some even use the fruit to enhance the flavours of the spices added on the dish. Thus, the versatility of durianis what makes it a popular fruit among the locals.
Where Can You Buy Durian?
Even though durian is not a native fruit in Singapore, it still has an abundant supply because of the neighbouring country, Malaysia. One of the best durian plantations and varieties are in Malaysia. It includes the infamous Mao Shan Wang. If you check the durian prices online, then you would learn that it is among the most expensive, yet it has premium quality.
Buy fresh durian online at Durian Factory! Who knows, you may score a cheap-priced Mao Shan Wang in their shop!