The durian, Durio zibethinus, is commonly known as the "King of the Fruits", but is also renowned as the world's stinkiest fruit.

Durian - Photo: Unsplash - Jim Teo

“To eat it seems to be the sacrifice of self-respect,” wrote 19th-century American journalist Bayard Taylor. French naturalist Henri Mouhot was a bit less delicate: “On first tasting it I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction.” However, if you can get down to the pale yellow, creamy flesh, you’ll experience overtones of hazelnut, apricot, caramelized banana and egg custard. Appreciation of this bat-pollinated fruit is divisive; some foodies love it, but most people just retch at the odor. The smell evokes reactions from deep praise to intense disgust and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odor, which may linger for several days, has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.

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