Description: Elvis may be the King of Rock & Roll and Budweiser the King of Beers, but the durian (in Southeast Asia at least) is considered the King of Fruits. The large, spiky, greenish-brown-husked fruit, when opened, contains yellow, fleshy lobes, most similar in texture to avocado, which can be spooned out and eaten. While some consider durian a delicacy, the intense odor turns many away. The smell has been described by food writers and TV personalities as akin to sweaty socks, rotten onions, sewage, and used surgical swabs. They are banned from airplane cabins, mass transit, and hotels in many Asian countries because of the foul odor.
Cuisine Connection: Durians flavor a variety of savory and sweet dishes in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked. Thai restaurant Durian in Larchmont has a dessert of warm kao neow thurien (sweet sticky rice with fresh durian).
Flavor Profile: A creamy, custardy, slightly nutty taste.
Durian Drama: On Thai soap operas, actresses playing cheated-on wives have wielded the prickly shells of durian against philandering husbands and their mistresses.