Why would anyone want to become a durian master?

Durian master

Durian is one of the most pungent fruits on the market, it’s been known to cause evacuations. Source: Shutterstock

DURIAN: you either love it or hate it. 

Known as the “king of fruits”, the pungent, plump Southeast Asian delicacy is almost otherworldly in appearance and taste.

Said to be native to Malaysia (it takes its name from the Malay word “duri” meaning “thorns”), Indonesia and Brunei, the fruit is also cultivated in other countries of similar climate, and exported to Western markets, including to countries like the UK and Australia.

It is often the subject of polarizing debates; as we mentioned earlier, you either love it or hate it.

To those who love it, the fruit’s aggressive-looking appearance isn’t enough to deter them from prising open its husk to savour the yellow, soft, fleshy fruit inside.

For others, even with the husk still intact, the smell of the durian alone is a major put-off; once whiffed, it can never be forgotten.

Chef-turned-food writer Anthony Bourdain describes eating durian as, “…Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”

And food writer Richard Sterling doesn’t have a cheery description either, “its odor is best described as… turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away.”

It is commonly banned on public transport around Southeast Asia and has been known to trigger mass evacuations on suspicion of it being a gas leak.

Are you getting the durian picture now?

Despite the rotten press it receives, in Malaysia, the durian export trade brings in around US$18 million (RM70.68 million) to the economy each year.

But who is eating this stinky delicacy?

Although the durian is native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, a report recognizes Singapore to be the biggest consumer of durian per capita.

Fitting then that durian-lovers can indulge their infatuation even further on June 23, at Serangoon’s Durian Appreciation Workshop.

Ironically, the workshop won’t be held at the Esplanade building, nicknamed “The Durian” after it’s appearance, but instead at The Durian Story on Upper Paya Lebar Road.

For US$38 (SG$50), participants can taste every significant variety of durian and learn the history of the controversial fruit.

Guests will also learn how to properly open and dissect a durian as well as spot the tastiest one in a pile.

If this workshop interests you, have a think about how you’ll get home from a day of durian-delights as the fruit is banned on public transport in Singapore.

Date & Time: 23 June 2018, 3pm – 4.30pm

Location: The Durian Story, 151 Serangoon North Avenue 2, #01-11, Singapore 550151