One of the reasons why many people (including some of my own family members) don’t like durian, is that they claim that the smell alone puts them off. Not just the smell that hits you when you’re approaching the stall, not just the smell that hits you when you first cut open a ripened fruit, but the smell of the fruit once digested which returns to remind you in the form of either a loud or discrete burp….
Since we’ve decided that there’s got to be a way to convince my various family members to become converts to the durian aficionado’s club, I started looking into durians with no smell. Not surprisingly, enterprising researchers have already been working on this project for a couple of years and come up with some hybrids which have less or little smell. Named the “Chantaburi No. 1”, this species of Thai durian is already in existence although I have no idea whether it is as yet sold at Siam Paragon’s supermarkets. The scientist Dr. Songpol Somsri is in the process (well, he’s been in the process for 20 years) of designing one which will yield a durian with no smell and (beat this) no thorns.
Distinguishing durians from jackfruits and soursops just got more challenging… no smell and no thorns. Perhaps we should name them after the band “Duran Duran” since we can’t really call it duri-an anymore…
The Chantaburi No. 1 link above has a great audio clip with an interview with Dr. Songpol, which is really funny and I highly recommend you click on it and give it a listen 🙂