Durian

Thai Fruit

dining thai fruit

Thai name: Thurian
Season: May to August

Beginning in May and extending through August, the durian announces its presence in Thai markets with a distinctive, highly pervasive aroma. To Thais, as well as to many other Asians, the stink is a welcome odor for they regard durian as the king of fruits, a delicacy that is well worth the comparatively high price it commands. Some visitors, on the other hand, are deterred by the potent smell and never actually sample the creamy golden flesh hidden within the spiny exterior - thereby missing one of the truly great pleasures of fruit eating. "The more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop,"wrote Alfred Russell Wallace, after eating his first durian on Borneo in the 19th century, and most of those who follow his example are likely to agree with him. Thai durians are noted for their subtle flavor and smooth texture, often winning over gourmets who have failed to respond in other countries where the fruit grows. Three of the most popular varieties (and there are several dozen to choose from) are cha ni, kan yao, and, perhaps the most prized of all, mon thong.

In modern times, Phuket's economy rests on two pillars: rubber tree plantations (making Thailand the biggest producer of rubber in the world) and tourism, with a thriving diving industry attracting thousands of divers each year.

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