Skip to comments.Thai Scientist Successfully Cultivates Odourless Durians
Posted on 07/29/2007 12:20:56 PM PDT by JACKRUSSELL
(BANGKOK)--Thai scientist, Professor Songpol Somsri, has successfully cultivated an odourless durian.
Chantaburi 1 is the world's first cultivated durian that is guaranteed not to exude that unmistakable smell.
The durian is either the king of fruits and a delicacy to some or a smelly inconvenience to others.
With the advent of an odourless durian, people who were previously completely turned off by the fruit may be able to enjoy it now.
At the same time, durian lovers may turn their noses up at the mere idea of the fruit without its famous fragrance.
Professor Songpol said by cultivating Chantaburi 1, he is safeguarding the durian's future by making it more palatable to younger generations and more exportable for the wider global market.
He said: "We have the market in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, but foreigners like the Americans, Europeans, Japanese and Koreans don't like the strong smell."
Currently, Thailand exports about US$90 million worth of durians per year.
Creators of Chantaburi 1 are hoping to get a slice of that market in the next five years and one million seedlings of the fruit will be planted.
But second generation durian farmer Sawai Tasaneeyawet, who makes almost US$60 for each of her special Nonthaburi durians, does not think the idea will catch on.
She said: "The essence of a durian is its unique smell. If there is no smell, the durian is essentially characterless and no smell could also mean that it isn't ripe."
Another durian seller, who has been doing brisk business for ten years at a market 100 kilometres outside of Bangkok, doubts that odourless durian could taste as good.
Manid Yodpinit said: "I think if a durian has no smell it won't be as tasty as the original, especially when you eat it raw."
And some customers feel the same way.
One of them said: "I have never heard of an odourless durian, but I don't think it will be a success since the smell of a durian is its identity. You can tell the quality of the fruit by its smell."
But some are curious and may yet become fans.
"I would try an odourless durian to see if it's good or not. Its taste and species are most important," one of the passers-by said.
For those who cannot live without the fruit's pungent aroma, Professor Songpol has created Chantaburi 3, which will only begin to smell three days after it is picked to make it easier to transport the fruit to new export markets.
And the innovation does not stop with smell as efforts to produce a durian that is odourless and thornless could one day bear fruit.
I have never been able to bring myself into eating them. The smell is just too much.
I saw some dude try on The Travel Channel. He got it in his mouth... and he spit it out. Said it tasted like soft onions.
I saw that too. Bizarre Foods by Andrew Zimmern. He had no problem eating a still beating frog heart but the durian was just too much.
Why would one want to eat something that smells like, you know
What does it smell like?? I’ve never heard of durian ...
Some say rotten onions, others characterize it as rotten meat.
I know people who absolutely love the taste.
I got this on line:Some of the more common comparisons include overripe cheese, fermented onions, rotten fish, and unwashed socks. (The bad smell, of course, performs a very important function: It attracts jungle animals to the fruit to facilitate seed dispersal.)
You’re really on top of the stinky vegetable stories today.
My wife just said to me in Japanese after I revealed this exciting news to her: “If it doesn’t stink, it’s not Durian!”
>>I got this on line:Some of the more common comparisons include overripe cheese, fermented onions, rotten fish, and unwashed socks.
I would say unwashed colored socks after a day at the office and a hour’s workout at the gym.
Either way I would have to think long and hard before I put it in my mouth.
About five years ago, my local grocery had them in the produce department. The produce guy didn’t have a clue as to what they were, I did as I had read about them somewhere.
They were about the size of a football and covered with spikes, but really didn’t stink at all. I have since learned that unripe durians shipped frozen don’t compare at all to those purchased fresh in their home territory.
I asked the produce guy what they wanted for one, he said $3.50, I think I talked him down to $2.00. I later learned that they really were $3.50 a pound, and these things weighed at least 10 lb. They usually had 3 or 4 on display and I think I’m the only one who ever bought one, (I'm probably the only customers who knew what they were - we don’t have any Asian population here to speak of).
I kept it around till it started to get mushy, even then it didn’t stink much at all. As I recall these many years later, it tasted kinda like weak vanilla custard made with spoiled milk. (My Grandfather was Polish and he used to keep his milk out without refrigeration for a few days till it got all sour and nasty. He considered it a delicacy). I ate a few bites, its not something I would turn down if I was starving, but it’s not something I will go out of my to consume any time soon.
If I remember some of my durian trivia correctly, people have sold their houses and all their possessions to indulge in their durian habit, and an Englishman who had served in the area shuttered his house, got on a sailing ship for a six months journey just so he could satisfy his longing for another taste.
maybe as some macho test of manhood.
Durian, to me, is totally repulsive. I have to drive with the car windows open for a week after my wife transports one home. By agreement, she cleans and eats them our in the yard. None can be kept in the refrigerator or anywhere in the house. I have not encountered any other fruit that comes close to the repulsiveness of durian. In fact, Thailand has some of the freshest and most delicious fruits and melons in the world. The mango and papaya are sweet and grow in most peoples yards. Longyai, Nga, Longan and others uncommon in the West will make fans of most. However, one whiff of durian will put a Farang like me off his feed for the rest of the day. Rant over.
And the “Bizarre Foods” guy, Andrew Zimmern described his taste as “ really mushy rotten onions “. Sounds delightful. BAARRRFFFFF.
Go to your local Southeast Asian market. They are quite popular although very stinky ... like a really horrible stinky cheese.
I’m not likely to buy a whole one. I wish they would offer samples.
I live in Singapore for 4 years. Nothing worse than getting stuck in traffic behind a truck transporting durian. GAG!
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