Borneo Island or Kalimantan is widely known as one of the largest islands in the world, the island that contains one of the largest rain forests on the planet. But do you know that this island is also rich of exotic fruits? The most exotic are the Durians.
What kind of fruit is this Durian?
Durian specifically grows in South East Asia countries: Indonesia, Malay, Brunei Darussalam and Thailand. In these countries, Durian is widely known as the King of Fruit. It has a very hard and prickly skin at the outside but a very tender and creamy flesh in the inside.What makes this fruit distinct? It is the odor! Yes, this fruit is extremely smelly. Because of its unpleasant odor, Durian is banned in several public areas, such as hotels or hospitals. Some people describe the smell as sweet like almond, but others think the smell is as bad as rotten onion. Unlike its disagreeable smell, the taste of the flesh is very delicious. A British traveler described in 1599 that “the Durian is of such an excellent taste that is surpasses in flavor of the other fruits in the world”. British novelist Anthony Burgess even went further by describing that eating durian was "like eating sweet raspberry blancmange in the lavatory”. Several rare species specifically grow in Borneo Island are as follows:
Durio Kutejensis (local name: Lai)
What makes this type of durian different with others? First, the shape is almost perfectly round like ball instead of the usual oval. Second, the prickly skin is poisonous; not deadly but can cause irritating burning sensation on human skin. Third, the odor is rather sweet, not so smelly like any
Durio Graveolens (local name: Lai Merah)
This type of Durian Fruit mainly grows in Malinau District, East Borneo province, Indonesia. This fruit also grows in Brunei Darussalam. Its size is relatively small for a durian, with weight around 250-600grm. While most Durian has a yellowish flesh, this type of Durian has a daring red flesh color. In fact, this is how the Durian got its name Lai Merah. Merah is Indonesian word for red. The taste is also more delicious compared to other type of Durian Fruits.
Durio Dulcis (local name: Lahong)
Same with the other two types of durian above, this fruit mostly grows in East Borneo. What makes this fruit so unique? It is the burning red color of its skin. The shape of the fruit is quite round. Its yellow flesh is so creamy, soft and sweet just like caramel. Despite its sweet taste, the smell is very provoking.
Durio Oxleyanus (local name : Sukang)
This type of Durian looks very much like durio dulcis (lahong), but with greener skin color and smaller size. The average weight is around 20-500grm, the smallest durian of all. It has a sweet yellow flesh but provoking smell.