Love it or loathe it, but you certainly can’t be indifferent to the durian. The so-called “king of fruits” has a prized flavour and custard-like consistency for which aficionados are willing to pay a king’s ransom, but it also has many detractors; consuming it was once memorably compared, by Sir James Scott writing in 1882, to “eating a garlic custard over a London sewer”.
z A worker climbs a durian tree in Suan Ban Rao orchard to check fruit for ripeness.
This is the time of year that durian comes into season and markets all across the region will be redolent with the unmistakable odour of this thorn-encased delicacy. Most people will have heard of common varieties like Mon Thong and Kan Yao, but the durian comes in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes — some 500 different cultivars have been recorded in Thailand alone.
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