Durians have a notorious aroma likened to rotting meat, turpentine and gym socks. 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. "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. Durian is a tropical fruit distinguished by its large size and spiky, hard outer shell. Sounds inviting, right? According to a 2009 Japanese study, durian extract strongly inhibits the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), used by the liver to break down alcohol. Durian can be eaten raw, served with rice, or even fried. The pungent smell of Durian is so strong that the fruit is banned in many hotels, and on public transport across Asia. 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. Six ambulances, five first-responder cars and two emergency vehicles attended the incident. Darren Logan answered on 9 Mar 2012: This is a great question! Bringing Durian Fruit is one of them! The spiky fruit's flavor and creamy texture has made it popular throughout Southeast Asia, but its infamous odor has gained it many detractors. When picking out a durian fruit to buy, locals will first smell it, the stronger it smells, the better it will taste! So, why does the durian smell so strong? 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. Now, new research has found that an amino acid plays a role in giving the durian fruit its notorious smell. The fruit from Southeast Asia is said to at best smell like rotten onions. Durian fruit is well known for it's very strong smell. It’s also used in traditional Asian medicine, as both an anti-fever treatment and a aphrodisiac. or 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. 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 everyone can agree on is that the fruit’s odor, whether pleasant or dreadful, is uncommonly potent. 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. Joseph Stromberg was previously a digital reporter for Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution. The Durian's smell can resemble many things such as smelly cheese, dirty socks, vomit, rotten onions, antiseptic, cat pee, pig poo, and toilets! 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. 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. 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. This might account for a piece of traditional Asian folklore: that getting intoxicated while eating durians can lead to death. The entire building was evacuated, with around 60 employees forced to leave, before the package was carefully examined. A small minority, though, love the smell and taste of the fruit. Good smelling chemicals like esters (such butanoates, cinnamates, and propanoates) were also found in the durian fruit. It's definitely worth a try. 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. Three different fire departments were also involved. “It's like a box of chocolates, but a bad box of chocolates” Check out more awesome videos at BuzzFeedVideo! It's harder to smell when it's cold and it's a … 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. I was enjoying eating this fruit almost every day and felt my health benefited so much from consuming this fruit. California Do Not Sell My Info The smell of durian fruit is distinctive, lingering, and persistent; the odor penetrates into fabric and remains on your hands after eating. How can such an esteemed and expensive fruit smell so bad? I am glad I was able to get over the initial unpleasant smell to really appreciate Durians unique, exquisite taste. Vote Now! 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. Durian is popular in Southeast Asia, but its smell puts a lot of people off. What is Durian Fruit? 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 … Durian fruit stink prompts university evacuation. The smell of the durian fruit is commonly described as something between incredibly bad foot odour, a dirty nappy – and vomit. The spiky fruit's flavor and creamy texture has made it popular throughout Southeast Asia, but its infamous odor has gained it many detractors. This fruit that shall not be named is none other than durian, of course. 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. Flavors often attributed to the durian fruits are caramel and vanilla. Thai durian fruit caused pandemonium at a post office in a German town in Bavaria, … 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. Young vs old. By. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. 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. Get the best of Smithsonian magazine by email. Durian has been described as the most foul-smelling fruit in the world. 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. Terms of Use Privacy Statement The researchers also found a compound called 5-Hydroxy-methyl-furfural (5-HMF) in durian shells and durian seeds. It can be smelled from yards away." Durians are banned on Signapore’s mass transit, among other public places, because of their potent scent. Yeah, you read that right—this has happened two times in one month. 2. Image via Wikimedia Commons/Kalai, If you’ve smelled a durian even once, you probably remember it. 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. Cookie Policy If you’ve never seen a durian fruit, it’s unlikely you’d miss it as you perused the farmers market. Advertising Notice Food writer Richard Sterling has written “its odor is best described as…turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It's not the first time durian has caused a panic. Either you hate it, or you love it, but everyone who’s tried it has an opinion on the durian fruit. “The flesh is as white as snow, exceeds in delicacy of taste of all our best European fruits, and none … And what does it really taste like? It is native to Borneo and Sumatra. 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. The taste of Durian fruit really is a sweet creamy custard flavour that is just so delicious. The fruit is extremely popular and loved by many in Southeast Asia, but the smell alone has put off many newcomers. Durian lovers say it has a sweet, custardy taste, with the texture of creamy cheesecake. I'm most familiar with processed durian in ice creams or frozen. The fruit changes significantly over a very short period of time. Esters are chemicals that produce fruity smells like the pineapple aroma. 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 Durian Fruit – Banned from public! The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. One smells onion-y, the other fruit. Literally. Why does it smell good to some and bad to others? It’s … Continue Even apart from the smell, durians are a scientific marvel. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. Durian's odor has been described as resembling dirty gym socks, rotten egg, cut onions, manure, and roadkill. Durian Fruit Smell Triggers Evacuation of German Post Office. It can be smelled from yards away.”. It's namely dealt with the smell at that point and all you get is the sweet deliciousness that is durian. Somehow, the combination of these 50 chemicals produces the powerful scent that has entranced and repulsed people the world over. It smells like a rotten egg/cheese or natural gas mixed with cream cheese and onion. 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. The fruit was eventually delivered to its intended recipient. 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. It maybe unpleasant to some but not to those who are familiar with durians. 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 The researchers published their results in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . It has a smelly, custard-like flesh with large seeds. 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. Their analysis suggests that it is not any single compound but instead the mixture of different chemicals that produces the fruit’s powerful stench. Give a Gift. 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 Our “Off the Road” blog profiled a pair of intrepid travelers on a year-long journey planned around tasting different varieties of durian. You can’t do lots of things on the Singapore Metro. When it is harvested … durian fruit, sense, smell; Asked by 09jhodge to Darren on 9 Mar 2012. 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. on. By Rob Picheta and Frederik Pleitgen, CNN. Despite its smell, people consume the fruit raw or incorporate it into recipes and enjoy its creamy consistency and sweet flavor. A number of them have been detected in just a few other substances, such as cooked beef, yeast extract, dried squid and leeks. Those who like the durian fruit in all probability love the smell too which they call as “aroma”. Those compounds included eight that hadn’t been detected in durians before—and four compounds that had been completely unknown to science. There is no fruit quite like the durian, which has the appeal to entice even as it repulses. 2 months ago. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. 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. Even with the husk intact, the notorious Asian fruit has such a potent stench that it’s banned on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit. Image via Wikimedia Commons/Steve Bennett. Published. One might say it smells like sewage mixed with gasoline. The durian fruit stinks. June 24, 2020. "Due to the unknown content, it was initially unclear whether the suspect package posed a greater risk," a statement from Schweinfurt police department explained. I'd go the ice cream route if you're apprehensive, though. Durian fruit is a large fruit with custard-like flesh and a hard, spiky shell. (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. Its aroma has been compared to raw sewage, rotting flesh and smelly gym socks. 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. CTN News . 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