Some More Tropical Fruits from Vietnam: Jackfruit & Durian

How to learn to love the smell of Durian.

Durian may look like a medieval weapon but it’s the smell that will knock you to the floor. At least it did me. The first time I encountered its unique smell was in a market in Bangkok.

“What is that smell? It’s like someone just vomited up a bunch of fruit.”

As we turned a corner Al exclaimed, “It’s durian. Mmmm.”

It turned out that the Vietnamese guys that Al worked with regularly brought durian in for lunch, and Al had been induced into trying it. Apparently once you have tasted this creature you will love it. And the stench that goes along with it!

I’ve never gotten past the smell so I can’t comment, but I did have jackfruit, which they tell me is a lot like durian but without the smell. And it’s sweet and fruity and slightly creamy. So maybe I will try durian some day!

Durian looks like a spiked mace. It can easily grow to the size of a watermelon, and occasionally drops on people’s heads with rather disastrous effects.
Mekong Orchard Fruit Tree: Durian Jackfruit can also get as big as a watermelon, and it grows oddly out of the tree trunk.
a jackfruit tree growing in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam Jackfruit tree in the Mekong Delta, VietnamDurian for sale in a market in Bangkok.
Durian For Sale in BangkokJackfruit for sale at a market in the Mekong Delta.Jackfruit for sale at a market in the Mekong Delta, VietnamJackfruit (left) & durian (right) for sale in a Hanoi market, showing off their sweet fruity innards.
Jackfruit & Durian For Sale in a Hanoi Market Jackfruit and papaya at a street stall in Saigon.Jackfruit & papaya at a street stall in HCMCI’ve been told that sweet and fruity jackfruit has a similar flavour to durian, but without the additional stench that has caused durians to be banned in many places.
tasting Jackfruit in the Mekong Delta Coconut ice cream garnished with a strip of jackfruit, an inspiration from the Salathai menu here in Vancouver.
Coconut ice cream with a strip of Jackfruit More about the tropical fruits I discovered in Southeast Asia:

Tropical Fruit in the Market: Rose Apple

Gac, a spiky red fruit growing on a vine in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam More about our December 2013 trip to Vietnam.


13 responses to “Some More Tropical Fruits from Vietnam: Jackfruit & Durian

  1. The Thailand durians does not strong smell compared to the Malaysian durians (in fact it is nothing compared to Malaysian ones. =) ). With Malaysia durian, you can smell is a mile away. It is one of the fruits that you either die for it or hate it for life.

      • Yes. Malaysia durians have various flavors as some high cross breed with the best of best. If you tried durians, you will notice that they are distinct taste; either a slight bitter or sweet after taste.So people will start with a slight bitter taste durians and then followed by durians with a sweet after taste.

    • It’s a gac. I’ve only had it on sticky rice where it was used primarily for its colour and tons of vitamins – the flavour was quite muted, vaguely nutty. I did a post on it, you can click the link.

  2. Pingback: Another Tropical Fruit from Vietnam: Longan, Dragon Eyes | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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