Thailand: Jackfruit & Durian

Thailand is a jackpot of exotic, delicious fruit. The fruit comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes that I would bet you could not have imagined exist on our planet. I know that time and time again I have been shocked by the beauty and diversity of the fruits that nature produces.

You might recognize durian and jackfruit from your travels, or you might have heard about them from fellow travelers.

This week let’s dive into these two crazy fruits that commonly get mixed up by the inexperienced eye.



One of these fruits can weigh as much as 80 pounds. That is typically more than the weight of a healthy 7- or 8-year-old child! This is a monster of a fruit with a knobby green skin which produces latex when cut. It can be quite an undertaking to get one open, but once the fleshy fruit which surrounds the seed is obtained, you will quickly forget about the struggle. The delightful and distinctive taste will overcome all memory of that. In the markets, you can buy the segments already cleaned for you.

Delicious raw, some describe the taste as a combination of an apple, banana, and mango. The flesh is also delicious battered and fried, or in curries!


If you did happen to cut your own fruit, and have now found your hands covered in latex, don’t panic. Just add some cooking oil to your hands, and it will come right off.


When looking upon this fruit, you might find yourself thinking it looks more like a weapon from the Dark Ages than something to be consumed.

Durian is the most emotion-evoking fruit of them all! It’s known for its malodorous, pungent smell. Some describe it as rotten onions, turpentine, or raw sewage. You either love durian, following your nose through the streets at night scouring the town for one those lobes of fruity goodness, or you absolutely cannot stand it. It is such a thing of controversy that it is banned from most accommodations, and basically all public transportation.

Give it a try—the “king of fruits” has many loyal followers. Might you be among them?


Durians are smaller and have larger, cylindrical spikes. Jackfruits are larger, often more elongated, and have more of a knobby exterior, versus the durian’s spiky exterior.

Till next week, folks.
And remember, try (almost) anything once, twice if you are lucky!

Interested in Southeast Asia?

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