It’s durian season! For many expats this means now is the time to try this iconic Southeast Asian fruit (if you haven’t already).
With its strong smell, unique texture and unmistakable spiky exterior, the durian is not only Singapore’s national fruit but it is also known as the King of Fruits.
Aside from a mostly “love it or hate it” reputation, the durian also is reputed to be many things. The myths about this distinctly regional fruit abound!
We’ve gone digging for the truth, and here’s what we found:
Verdict: True and false. Durian is actually rich in many essential nutrients including Potassium, fibre, vitamins C and B complex and iron. But, it is high in calories and loaded with sugar. One-kilogram-sized durian has close to 1,350 calories, whereas an average cheeseburger with French fries is approximately 600 calories.
Verdict: False. Durians actually have no cholesterol, zero. (Take that, cheeseburger!) While they are high in monounsaturated fats, these are the “good” fats that can help to lower cholesterol.
Verdict: False. There is nothing to prevent you from eating durian while enjoying a pint, other than that it doesn’t sound even remotely like a tasty combination. Perhaps the tales of death started circulating, because durian is so high in sugar, which can be hard on your liver, combined with alcohol, which is also hard on your liver?
Verdict: False. In traditional Chinese medicine, durians are often described as having varying intensity of “heatiness”. Mangosteens are said to have a “cooling” effect. But, it seems this myth has more to do with the fact that the two fruits are in season at the same time.
Verdict: Unless you and your mate are both durian lovers, I can’t see how this could be true. But, we’ll let you durian fans draw your own conclusions on this one.
Verdict: True. But not by the smell (even though it may feel like that sometimes). There are several reports about durians falling from high onto people’s heads. These are freak, uncommon incidents, but we do want to draw your attention to its dangerous, spikey exterior. Handle with care as dropping on your foot can be VERY painful.
By Kathleen Siddell, July 2015 / Last updated: March 28, 2018