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Durian Fruit: History and Associate Legends

The Durian is a fruit formed by the Malvaceae, a plant which is in the same family as the hibiscus, okra, and cotton tree family. This fruit is widely known and used in Southeast Asia. The Asians consider this to be the “King of Fruits” because of its distinctive size, odour, and husk. You may be surprised to learn that the Durian was named to mean “thorny fruit.” There are actually thirty species of the Durio in Southeast Asia although only nine of these species are edible. The Durian is a nutty sweet fruit and the outer portion of the fruit is a thorny husk with a meaty inside.

The Dorian is rich with history and legends. Part of the history of this fruit includes a quote from Alfred Russell Wallace, a British naturalist in 1856. He said the fruit was custard in colour with an almond flavour. If you go back even further you will find that during prehistoric times in Southeast Asia this fruit to be consumed by the native people. From the prehistoric age references in the 15th century on through to the 1700’s it is possible to tell that there has been interest in this particular fruit. A German botanist provided some of the most accurate descriptions of the fruit and its tastes. He also created the taxonomy of the genius Durio for later generations.

We now see this fruit mostly in Southeast Asia or in botanical gardens where the genus has been introduced for education purposes. In fact the first seedlings to arrive in England came in 1884 to the Botanic Gardens.

Some common uses of the Durian fruit include milkshakes, Yule Logs, cappuccinos, rice, and other Asian dishes. It will depend upon the type of Durio that is used for the different items listed. Some are not available to eat, but others can be used to make dishes like Tempoyak.

Some nutritional and medical information demonstrates that the fruit contains a high amount of sugar, vitamin C, potassium, and tryptophan. It is considered a great “rave food”. In Malaysia the leaves and roots have been used as antipyretic and the leaf juice is often applied to the head of a fever patient to reduce the fever and help the patient return to normal health again. Other uses and impressions come from Chinese medicine. The Durian fruit is considered to have warming properties and cause sweating. Those who have high blood pressure or are pregnant are not supposed to have the Durian fruit as it is supposed to be hazardous to their health due to these warming effects. Another belief is that Durian is harmful when you eat it with coffee or alcoholic beverages. In other words the Chinese legend says that you should never have those things combined. An 18th century theory is that indigestion and bad breath will result from eating this type of fruit. Another legend tells you not to eat the Durian fruit when consuming brandy as it can be poisonous to your health.

The Japanese believe that the Durian fruit is actually an aphrodisiac. They have even gone so far as to create rules on when Durian may be consumed and when it may not.

There are many different theories on what may or may not occur as a result of eating the fruit. Of the studies conducted in the past, and those to dissuade the thoughts of today, the studies have been found to be inconclusive.

Recommendations for collecting the fruit are considered to have the person wear a hard hat. This is because the actual casing of the fruit is very hard and can cause a head injury if it falls from the tree at a great height. It is much like a coconut falling from a tree where they can actually dent a car.

Durian fruit is still not widely known in the western hemisphere, especially America. While it is a popular item of Southeast Asia and has made its way to Europe we have yet to see Durian fruit in the local markets. Perhaps this is because the fruit has many legends behind it or maybe it is just that there is no demand for it. Either way it is an interesting fruit when you consider its history and legends. After all the fruit has been known to be consumed in the prehistoric era and even today has made a showing in the dishes of Southeast Asia. The legends may be unsubstantiated, but we know that there are rich vitamins and other properties contained in the fruit to make it worthy of a diet, even if it is high in carbohydrates.

Mich Crawley is a Neways Independent distributor, supplier of powerful nutritional Neways products such as Durian Fruit, all of the products Neways produce and sell are free from toxic chemicals and harmful carcinogens, and are endorsed by the Cancer Prevention Coalition.

Source: pr-gb.com

Publication date: 9/24/2007


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