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Friday, May 06, 2011

Durian Fruit


The durian is  becoming more and more an expensive fruit, even in the Philippines. Not so long time ago, you could buy In Davao City, the capital of Mindanao, a durian for the price of 50 pesos a piece. That is about 1 US dollar. Nowadays it is being sold per kilo. Native varieties cost from P35 to P65 per kilo, depending on the quality and size of the fruit. The better qualities are being sold for even a higher price. Varieties like "Mon thong" and "Channe" have a price from 80  to 120 pesos per kilo.

Southern Mindanao is considered the "durian republic" in the Philippines. The durian fruit-tree is widely spread through Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. It is also an important crop in Vietnam and Myanmar. In the Philippines, the durian-tree grows almost exclusive on Mindanao. In the rest of the country the trees are few.

Durian is famous for its odor. The opinions about the qualities of that odor are quite opposite! Most Asian people say that the odor of the durian can be compared to a perfume. Other people, especially foreigners, say that the fruit, when the skin of the fruit is opened,  stinks. "It smells like hell and tastes like heaven", is how some foreigners describe the fruit. Listening to foreigners, the conclusion can  be as follows: "...you can stand the taste of the durian fruit, but not the smell..."

Most airlines don’t  allow the durian fruit on board. In Singapore, the Asian country with the most rigid policy and rules concerning the care for the environment (in the Pacific and probably in the world!), the durian is forbidden on subway-stations and trains. One  historian declared: "To those who are used to it, at the first time the durian fruit seems to smell like rotten onions, but after they have tasted it, they prefer it to all other fruits."

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