The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. Many people in Southeast Asia call it the “king of fruits”. It is distinctive for its large size, strong odor, and formidable thorn-covered rind. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimeters (12 in) long and 15 centimeters (6 in) in diameter. And it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb.).
Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the color of its husk green to brown. Its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species. There is some debate as to whether it is native to the Philippines or was introduced. Particularly in the Davao region on the island of Mindanao.
Depending on the cultivars or clones, the fruits will mature and drop 3-5 months after flowering. In the Philippines, durian flowers usually bloom from April to June and harvest happens from August to November. This gives the Philippines great prospects for export as the harvest season is later than in other Southeast Asian countries.
Popular cultivars include two local selections (DES 806 and DES 916) and four selections developed from introduced cultivars Chanee, Monthong, Umali and CA 3266) and the hundreds of local selections which are not registered.
Durian for Food
Durian fruit is good to flavor a wide variety of sweet edibles such as traditional candy, rose biscuits, ice cream, milkshakes, mooncakes, and cappuccino. Dried durian flesh is popular for durian chips. You can also cook unripe durians as a vegetable, except in the Philippines, where all uses are sweet rather than savory. People eat durian seeds, which are the size of chestnuts, boiled, roasted or fried in coconut oil, with a texture that is like yam, but stickier.
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