What Does Durian Taste Like? Top 3 Best Tasting Durian


What Does Durian Taste Like?
What Does Durian Taste Like?

If you happen to be in a tropical country such as the Philippines and in the province of Davao you may find an odd fruit in the supermarket or being sold on the side of a road called Durian. I first came across this fruit while travelling through the Philippines and my first impressions were a lot different to my final impressions. But first let’s answer the question: What does durian fruit taste like?

Durian fruits flavour is a very pleasant sweet taste, with a texture and colour much like custard and a very creamy soft feel to the flesh. It has been said that the flavour is like ‘Heaven’ due to its creamy sweet unique taste. However, the smell could be described as the complete opposite, which makes this remarkable fruit so unique, as the smell is something you need to get over first before you can actually appreciate the sweet taste of Durian.

However, depending on the variety, Durian can have a bitter taste or even a sweet bitter taste. It all depends on which variety you are eating, just as some varieties have a stronger smell than other varieties.

If you are a beginner to eating Durian then you will need to read the end of this article where we will tell you the four best Durians to try that are sweet without an overpowering odour. Check out our video below for a taste and smell test of Mornthong Durian.

As mentioned above my first impressions were different from my final impressions, and this may be the case for you too.

When first trying Durian, you don’t really appreciate the taste and flavour because of the very strong unpleasant smell. If its taste could be described as ‘Heaven’ its smell would be described as ‘Hell’.

Since smell is part of the mechanisms behind taste, you really have to ‘push through’ and get over the unpleasant smell to enjoy eating Durian. And the benefits are many as Durian has been described as the King of Fruits due to its abundant nutrition and health benefits.

The smell of Durian reminded me of ‘smelly old socks and vomit’, so this was my image when I was eating the fruit. As you can imagine, with an image in my mind of smelly old socks I couldn’t really enjoy Durians unique taste. So, my first impressions were that I didn’t like Durian fruit at all and wouldn’t eat it again.

However, a year later when I was back in Davao and travelled down to Digos City, my wife who loves Durian encouraged me to try it again. It certainly wasn’t love at first sight or second sight or even third sight.

However as I ate it more and more, mainly because I had read about its health benefits and I was on a fruit diet, and also because of its high calorie and carbohydrate content, as I didn’t want to look too skinny on my fruit diet, I slowly began to notice the smell less and less and appreciate the taste more and more.

The taste of Durian fruit really is a sweet creamy custard flavour that is just so delicious. I am glad I was able to get over the initial unpleasant smell to really appreciate Durians unique, exquisite taste. I was enjoying eating this fruit almost every day and felt my health benefited so much from consuming this fruit. It helped me stay at a good weight even though I was only consuming fruit.

Durian Has A Soft Creamy Texture
Durian Has A Creamy Texture

I wouldn’t recommend eating lots of the fruit, but a few pieces each day was beneficial for me and my fruit diet and likewise, you may find it beneficial for you too.

So, if you would also like to enjoy the taste of Durian, just try eating a little each day to get yourself accustomed to the unpleasant smell.

Another tip is to do some research on the health benefits of consuming this fruit and why Durian is called the ‘King of Fruits’.

When you find out why this fruit is good for you it may help you enjoy eating it more.

It’s interesting to note that there are many different varieties of Durian and some have stronger smells than other varieties. So, if you find it difficult to eat Durian, you may find it easier to eat a variety that has a milder smell but sweet taste.

Did you know that there are over 100 varieties (it seems like it might be closer to 234 varieties) of Durian fruit and we will show you which ones are best for eating and flavour? At the end of the article, we will tell you our best Four Durians to try, especially if you are new to eating Durian.

Take a look at the table below to see what flavours and tastes you can expect from a few of the best different varieties.

Durian VarietyTasteLocationRarity
D101Mild Sweetness with Buttery TextureJohorVery Common
D13 Fragrant, with a sweet taste, sticky textureJohorVery Common
TekkaA Sweet Floral TastePahangRare
D24 Sultan Bittersweet Taste with a subtle creamy texturePahangCommon
Golden PhoenixSharp Bitter TasteJohorUncommon
D1A Mildly Sweet TasteJohorCommon
Mao Shan Wang Bitter Taste with a Creamy and Sticky TexturePahangCommon
Black Pearl A Slightly Bitter Taste with a Creamy TextureJohor Rare
Black ThornAn Intense Taste and Bitter PenangVery Rare
D17 A Fairly Bitter Taste with a Soft TextureJohorUncommon
Red Prawn Sweet TastePenangCommon
Hor Lor A Mildly Sweet TastePenangUncommon

When I was in Davao Philippines, I was interested to note a couple of varieties that were in my opinion very good tasting. Below are a couple and if you are able to, you might also like to try.

The best four to try if you are a beginner are listed below with Arancillo being the very best for Westerners.

Arancillo Durian Fruit Best Tasting Durian Fruit
Arancillo Durian Fruit

Arancillo is a sweet Durian with a bitter aftertaste and very common in the Phillippines.

Another common Durian fruit in the Philippines is the Puyat It’s one of the fattier, fleshier durians, with a strong sweet flavour. This variety is the one that is commercially produced and exported.

It is thought that this variety may be the one that will soon become available through export to the United States.

Kob White is a very huge durian weighing up to 5 kilos. It happens to be one of the best-tasting durians that you are ever likely to eat.

After tasting Kob, you may decide not to taste any other varieties of durians, because this by far is best tasting Durian fruit variety.

Kob White is a white or grey fleshed durian with a very elongated shape. It’s very fatty and dense and very bitter.

Another variety that we recommend you try is called Durio graveolens. Its a red-fleshed Durian and is the most popular ‘wild’ variety of durian. Its smell is very mild and has even been described as odourless. So this is a very easy Durian to taste, especially if its your first time eating Durian.

Graveolens Durian
Graveolens Durian – Top3 Durian Fruit Taste

The Durio graveolens, or simply just graveolens, smell has even been described as roasted almonds or burnt caramel fragrance. Which in my opinion is not too bad to stomach.

The taste of the graveolens has been described as sweet and cheesy and the texture as similar to eating an avocado. It’s after taste has been described as alcoholic.

In conclusion, there are a large number of varieties of Durian to taste but most are not available except the commercially grown ones. Of these, the Kob White, the Puyat, the Arancillo and the Graveolens are the best tasting Durian fruits we believe to date.

Juan Paul

We are Juan & Raquel, the guys behind Fruit Information. We've been interested in fruit over the last few decades and have been busy with improving our knowledge of the different varieties. I, Juan, have been almost a fruitarian for over a decade and almost solely living on fruits as my main dietary intake. My wife Raquel has worked on a fruit farm and also worked in a nursery and seedlings shop. She is a very experienced and knowledgable farmer. We have recently undertaken a new Dragon Fruit farm with friends.

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