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LEXICON

 

 

durian

A fruit of the genus Durio of which different variations exist, such as thurian mon thong (ทุเรียนหมอนทอง), thurian kaan yao (ทุเรียนก้านยาว), thurian kradum thong (กระดุมทอง), thurian ihkop (ทุเรียนอีกบ), thurian ihluang (ทุเรียนอีลวง), thurian kampan (ทุเรียนกําปั่น), and thurian chanie (ทุเรียนชะนี). Its fruiting season is from May to September. It is native to Southeast Asia where it is known as the ‘king of fruits’. The fruit has a hard shell with sharp pikes (fig.) and a pungent, penetrating scent. The local people say it smells like hell but tastes like heaven, nevertheless it is banned from most Thai hotels (fig.). The vanilla coloured flesh of fruit (fig.) sits around large bean-shaped pits and has an unique taste, considered a real delicacy by the locals. However, caution should be exercised when eating the fruit, as they have a high calorific value and excessive consumption in close succession could be harmful. Nutritional analysis of durians by the Nutrition Division of the Department of Health shows that different cultivars have different energy values, ranging from 181 calories per 100 grams for long-stemmed durians (fig.), to 129 calories for kradum durians, and in the case of candied durians, the calorific value is as high as 340 calories. This means for example that a 2 kilogram mon thong durian -one of the most popular varieties- with a peeled weight of around 600 grams would give a total of around 978 calories. It is thus advisable to eat no more than two segments of durian a day. Customary practice is to combine the consumption of the ‘king of fruits’ with mangosteen, the ‘queen of fruits’, as the latter lowers the body temperature and helps prevent stomach aches after durian consumption. Durians, usually the of the mon thong kind, are also made into a popular snack of fried chips and even into a paste (fig.), called either durian cake or durian paste, but some say it tastes best fresh, mixed with sticky rice and coconut milk. In Thai thurian. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1) and (2).