What you need to know: Durian is revered as the “king of fruit” in Southeast cultures and is notorious for its sulfur-like smell and taste. Banned from most public places in Southeast Asia, including hospitals and trains, it is not uncommon to see a “no durian” sign posted! You either love it or hate it, but if you happen to be born with taste buds that swoon over this fruit’s unusual creamy flesh, then you will be happy to know that it’s great for your health as well.
Why you should try it: Durian, a large, thorn-covered fruit native to Thailand, is a favorite among raw foodists for its nutritional value. Rich in vitamins and minerals, durian is a great source of tryptophan, that little amino acid found in turkey that makes us sleepy around the holidays. Tryptophan is also essential for the production of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that creates feelings of well-being and happiness. Indonesians also consider durian a powerful aphrodisiac and actually use the common saying, “when the durians fall, the sarongs fly up.”
Let’s get together: If you are hankering to try this thorny fruit, head to the Asian markets where you can find it in a multitude of forms. Most commonly used in Asian traditional desserts such as puddings, ice cream and pastries, your best bet here in the States is to find it at your local raw food restaurant. If you happen to be local to Santa Monica, check out Rawvolution’s Chocolate Durian Love smoothie, made with almond milk, chocolate ice cream, durian and cacao. If almond milk and cacao don’t mask the pungent flavor then we don’t know what will!