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Should Durian Be Destinked?


If you've ever had fresh durian, you'll know that the pungent odor, along with its spiky exterior, is its signature mark. However many are convinced that the smell, which is often described as moldy cheese, rotting fish or garbage, is what makes it taste great. Like fine French cheeses (think camembert or worse), the stronger the smell, the better the taste.

“To anyone who doesn’t like durian it smells like a bunch of dead cats,” said Bob Halliday, a food writer in based Bangkok. “But as you get to appreciate durian, the smell is not offensive at all. It’s attractive. It makes you drool like a mastiff.”

So then, what is a durian that doesn't smell? And will it have the same delicious taste?

Thai scientist, Songpol Somsri, has been working for nearly three decades to destink the durian. By cross breeding more than 90 varieties of durian, Somsri says he has come up with a fruit that smells "as mild as a banana." He hopes that the fruit, named Chantaburi No. 1 (after his home province), will help broaden the American and European durian markets. However all of his hard work is not being met with 100% praise.

Durian lovers are at once disbelieving of and horrified by the prospect of a no-smell durian. They complain that the fruit is being homogenized like the insipid tomatoes bred to look pretty behind plastic wrap.

Source: NY Times

So how about you, what do you think of this?

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