What Does Durian Taste Like?

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When I talk about the smelliest fruit in the world, I know most of you must have guessed it’s Durian. The smell of this fruit is extremely strong and pungent, and most people avoid having it. However, if you’re an adventurous eater, you might have wondered what durian tastes like. So, before you change your mind again, it’s best to know about its flavor.


Contrary to its pungent smell, durian actually has a sweet flavor. The overall flavor of durian is often described as sweet and custard-like, with a texture similar to a creamy cheesecake.

Certain types of durian have also been described as having flavors of caramel and vanilla, however, this also depends on the ripeness of the fruit. 

Durian is a very popular fruit in its native cultivating Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand. It is almost a delicacy over there.

It is consumed raw and is also an integral part of certain recipes, both sweet and savory. However, durian has a very acquired taste and has not gained popularity in other parts of the world. 

Now that people are traveling more and want to explore new cuisines from various regions, durian has come into the limelight. So, you might be planning to travel to one of the countries where durian is popular, or you just want to know what the fuss is all about.

It’s best to know beforehand what to expect when you eat this fruit. In this article, I have mentioned all about what durian tastes like and various other things. Happy reading!

What Is Durian?

Durian on a tree

There are various reaction videos of people on the internet that you may have seen, where people try durian. Most people often take it up as a challenge to just taste this fruit, just because the smell is extremely putrid.

So, many of you may know that there is a fruit that exists which is extremely stinky and is called Durian. But, let me tell you more about this fruit to give you a better idea. 

Durian is the edible fruit of various tree species belonging to the family ‘Durio.’ There are a lot of trees belonging to the ‘Durio’ genus that produce fruits.

However, not all of them are edible. Durian is often termed as ‘the king of fruits in certain regions.’ This fruit is mostly associated with and eaten in Southeast Asian countries. 

These countries mainly include Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Durian is known for its large size, strong odor, and thorn-covered rind.

It can grow as large as 12 inches long and 2 to 7 pounds in weight. The shape can be anything from round to oblong, with a green to brown color husk and a pale yellow to red-colored flesh, all depending on the species of the durian. 

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What Does Durian Taste Like?

Durian fruit

Being an adventurous eater myself, I have always wondered why people would want to eat something that smells so bad. Moreover, if you ever visit any of the countries mentioned above, you will find various dishes that have durian in them, both sweet and savory.

So, before you get intimidated by the smell of this fruit, it is always best to know what it tastes like. This is just to prepare yourself for what is going to come along. 

The odor of Durian is often compared with that of rotten onions, old socks, and even vomit by some! However, the flavor of this fruit is poles apart from the smell. The overall flavor of any variety of durian is often a combination of sweet and savory flavors, which is what makes this fruit quite unique. 

The flavor of durian is often also described as having subtle hints of chives mixed with sugar. However, most people have a different description of the flavor of durian.

But, the base flavor profiles remain the same, sweet and savory, with a hint of bitterness. The texture of durian is extremely creamy, similar to that of a very ripe and soft avocado. 

Does Durian Taste Nice?

Durian is famous or infamous for smelling bad. Most people avoid the thought of even trying this fruit, just based on how bad it actually smells. Now you know the flavor profile of durian is a mix of sweet and savory with a creamy texture. However, does this mix of flavors actually work, or is it a complete fail?

When it comes to eating durian, first and foremost, it is important to know that durian has an acquired taste. Not everyone may like this explosion of flavors all happening at once. 

Though most people from the western world who have eaten durian do claim to like it, there are chances not everyone may be used to such a complex flavor. So, it can be safely said that durian does taste nice. However, it takes the tongue some time to get accustomed to its flavor. 

Why Is Durian So Smelly?

Why is durian so smelly?

Most people that have eaten durian either like it on the first go or get acquainted with its flavor. However, in most parts of the world, the fruit is still only known because of how horrid it smells. So, what exactly is the deal with durian? Why is it that it tastes really good but has such a horrible stench to it?

The smell of durian is often compared to old socks, rotten onions, and even vomit! The stench is so putrid that no one can stand it, and it is even banned in certain places. 

However, the real reason behind the terrible smell is the presence of two chemical compounds, namely Ethyl-2-methyl butanoate and 1-ethanethiol. Most researchers believe that this smell helps the fruit to propagate by attracting animals that help disperse its seeds. 

Why Do People Eat Durian?

Durian is almost like a delicacy in Southeast Asia. Many people from various countries in this region love the fruit and would never even think about not eating it. But, the real question here is, why do people even eat durian if it smells so bad as soon as you open it? Let me help you out with the answer to this question. 

People in the southeast Asian part of the world love durian for the mix of flavors that it provides, along with its creamy texture. The creamy texture of durian mixed with a burst of various flavors is something that you won’t get out of any other fruit. However, that is not all! 

Another reason why people love and devour durians is that they are extremely nutritious! The wonderful flavor and texture of durian, combined with its health benefits, is what makes it extremely popular. 

What Does Durian Cake Taste Like?

Durian is now slowly gaining popularity across the world because of its sweet and savory flavor and creamy texture. Mostly made popular by southeast Asians in the western world, durian is now used to make various recipes where the flavors of the east are combined with recipes from the west. Durian cake is a good example of this. So, what does durian cake taste like anyway?

Durian cake has a predominantly sweet flavor, just like any other cake. However, the addition of durian gives it a very creamy texture along with a balance of flavors.

Durian cake usually has a soft flavor of durian, which is a mix of sweet and savory flavors. However, the flavor is not overpowering at all, so it can be enjoyed and tried by people who have never tasted the fruit before. 

What Does Durian Candy Taste Like?

Just like durian cake, durian candy is another variant of this fruit that is quite popular. Although most people associate the flavor of candy with sugar, that is not necessarily the case with durian candy. 

Durian candy has a strong flavor of durian, which is a mix of sweet and savory flavors. The flavor of durian hits you in the beginning and leaves you with a lingering aftertaste. Some people have also suggested that durian candy makes their breath smell bad. 

However, to summarize, I can say that durian candy has a strong flavor, even though it is masked with all the sugar. As durian has an acquired taste, the same goes for durian candy. 

What Does Durian Mochi Taste Like?

Mochi is a Japanese dessert with a huge fan base. However, mochi is also a dessert that some people detest due to its chewy texture. For those of you who do like mochi and have tried different flavors of the same, you may be wondering what a durian mochi must taste like.

As durian is an acquired flavor and mochi is something that has a varying liking amongst people, the taste can be subjective. However, here is an overview of what a durian mochi tastes like. 

When biting into a durian mochi, the first flavor that will come to your tongue will be sweet from the mochi covering. Inside the casing is the durian fruit. As quite a lot of varieties of durian are watery, most manufacturers use drier versions of durian. 

Along with using dry varieties of the fruit, manufacturers also use sweeter varieties of durian to compliment the flavor of mochi. So, the overall flavor of durian mochi can be described as sweet, with a hint of a savory flavor.

Types Of Durian And Their Taste

Types Of Durian

As I had mentioned earlier, there are various types of trees belonging to the ‘Durio’ genus that produces the Durian fruit. However, not all of them are as common or edible.

So, if you do plan to buy durian yourself, it is best to know about some of the varieties available in the market. Here, I have mentioned the flavor and texture of some of the most common types of Durian. 

D13Weaker flavor than other varieties
Golden PhoenixBitter flavor
Red PrawnSweet flavor and creamy texture
D1Milky Flavor
Mao Shan WangBittersweet flavor with a creamy texture
Black PearlSlightly bitter flavor
TekkaSweet floral flavor
Black ThornIntense Bitter Flavor
D17Bitter flavor
Hor LorMildly sweet
D101Creamy with a mild flavor

Is Durian Illegal In USA?

This may surprise you, but durian is actually banned in certain countries. Even in countries that are primary consumers of durian, durian is banned in public places due to its rotten stench. However, in the US, durian is not actually banned.

Durian may not be allowed at certain public places and hotels, depending on where you stay and the place. Carrying durian from one country to another might not be allowed. However, the sale of durian is not illegal in the US market. 

How To Cut And Serve A Durian?

Durian, being a large fruit with a lot of spikes, can seem confusing when it comes to cutting and serving it. It may seem intimidating for some to open up a durian and eat it, as most people are afraid of the strong smell durian will have once it is opened.

You may be confused about how to cut open durian. There are some easy methods that you can follow to ensure you are cutting into the fruit correctly and it is served the right way. 

The Right Way To Cut A Durian:

  1. Take the durian out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cutting into a frozen durian will be almost impossible. 
  2. Once the durian is completely thawed, look for the five-pointed star-shaped lines on the fruit. These lines are on the opposite side of the stem. 
  3. The lines that come out of the five-pointed star usually denote where the different pods of the fruit inside are located.
  4. These lines will be an easy indication for you and will help you from accidentally cutting into the pods with the flesh of the fruit. 
  5. Next, hold the durian steady with one hand with the help of a thick towel or a cloth. (The towel will stop the spikes on the outside of the fruit from hurting you. ) 
  6. While holding the durian still, pierce the center of the star with a sharp and sturdy knife. 
  7. Make sure you pierce the skin of the durian at least two inches deep to be able to get all the way through the skin.
  8. Once the skin is pierced, twist the knife in all directions to dig into the seams. 
  9. Digging into the seams will make it much easier to break the durian apart.
  10. Once you have made incisions into the seams, you can cut open the durian by slicing through each seam all the way to the stem. So, you will have to cut through 5 seams. 

(A lot of people also prefer pulling the fruit apart with their hands once they have made the incisions at the base. However, you can follow whichever method you prefer.) 

Once you cut open the durian, you will notice small yellow-colored pods. These are the edible parts of the durian. These pods will be fleshy from the outside and will have a seed in the center. 

The Right Way To Serve Durian: 

Your durian is now ready to serve! You can either eat the pods as they are by eating around the seed. Or you can remove the flesh from around the seeds with your hands and serve it with some rice and coconut milk to have a delightful meal. 

How To Preserve A Durian?

Durian fruits on a tree

In most countries that do not produce durian, the fruit comes frozen from the countries where it is naturally grown. But, whether you buy durian fresh or frozen, there is a right way to store this fruit. So, let me share some tips with you on how you can store durian for it to stay fresh for a longer time. 

In The Refrigerator:

  1. You can thaw a whole durian for a few hours in the refrigerator and then cut it open.
  2. Once you cut the fruit open, you can preserve the leftovers of the durian either in the fridge or the freezer. 
  3. To store leftover durian in the fridge, make sure you pack the durian in an airtight container so that the smell doesn’t linger all around the fridge.
  4. Try using a flat container as otherwise, the seeds will get stacked up one over the other. 
  5. You can store durian in the fridge without it getting worse for almost a week. Whole, fresh durian can be stored in the pantry in a cool and dry place for a week. 

In The Freezer:

Generally, if you buy a whole frozen durian, the best way to store it is to keep it back in the freezer once you get it home. In case you do want to store it for longer than a week, it is best to store the fruit in an airtight container, zipper bag, or even foil in the freezer. Durian will stay okay in the freezer for up to two months.

Where Do You Use A Durian?

By now, you are aware of almost everything related to durian. You know what durian tastes like, its texture, how to pick the right durian, how to store it, and even how to serve it. Being a type of fruit, durian is eaten as it is quite often.

However, due to the unique taste and texture that durian has, it is used in various recipes, both sweet and savory. Let me tell you some common uses of durian. 

The creamy flesh and seeds of durian are both edible. The flesh is quite often mashed or pureed and used in making durian-flavored cakes, milkshakes, ice creams and even candies. As durian has a creamy texture, it is quite often used to make different types of creams and custards. 

Durian is also quite often served with sticky rice and coconut milk. Durian also tastes exceptionally well with other fruits like mangoes. In Asian countries where durian is common, it is also quite often used to make durian chips, which are just like potato chips. 

Is Durian Healthy?


Durian is eaten quite widely all across southeast Asia, not only because of the flavor profile it offers but also because durian is an extremely nutritious fruit. Durian is rich with various vital nutrients and has been associated with certain health benefits too. Let me tell you about some of the health benefits associated with durian fruit. 

  1. Durian is rich in various antioxidants. Certain studies have shown that these antioxidants present in durian may help reduce the risk of certain cancers. 
  2. Certain compounds in durian have been linked to reducing cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease. 
  3. The rind of durian contains compounds that help fight infections. 
  4. Durian has a lower glycemic index, which means it usually keeps blood sugar levels under control. 

Nutritional Content Of Durian

Durian is very commonly eaten in most Southeast Asian countries, not only because of its flavor but also because it has a lot of health benefits attached to it. Durian is high in energy, vitamins, and minerals. It is a good source of vitamin C, which helps the body develop resistance to infections. 

It is also a great source of B vitamins. So, let me tell you about all the nutritional values of durian. Once you know how nutritionally dense this fruit is, its putrid and strong smell will barely make a difference! I am sure you will go grab a durian the next time you see one!

NutrientAmount (Serving Size 100 grams)
Calories147 kcal
Carbohydrates27.1 grams
Protein1.47 grams
Fats5.33 grams
Dietary Fibers3.8 grams
Vitamin A2 micrograms
Vitamin C19.7 milligrams
Magnesium30 milligrams
Iron0.43 milligrams
Copper0.2 milligrams
Calcium6 milligrams
Potassium436 milligrams
Phosphorous39 milligrams


Durian is a fruit with an extremely putrid smell once it is cut into. However, the flavor of durian is a mix of sweet with savory, with some bitter elements. It also has a creamy texture, and that is what makes this fruit like no other. 

Durian is a nutritionally dense fruit that can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Durian ice cream and various types of candies made with durian are extremely common. So, if you ever do come across durian, don’t get intimidated by the smell, as it does have a great flavor!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is durian?

Durian is a tropical fruit from Southeast Asia. 

What does durian taste like?

Durian has a combination of a sweet and savory flavor, often with slight bitter notes. 

What is the texture of durian?

Durian has a creamy and smooth texture, quite similar to that of a ripe avocado. 

Is durian nutritious?

Yes, durian is nutritious as it is packed with various vital nutrients. 

Why does durian smell so bad?

Durian contains a rare amino acid that is responsible for its odor. 

How do you eat durian?

Durian can be eaten as it is, or the flesh can be used to make various dishes, both savory and sweet. 

Is durian the same as jackfruit?

No, durian and jackfruit are two completely different fruits. 

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