Durian is the überstinky tropical fruit whose smell alone might make you ill. According to a BBC website:

It has been likened to rotting onions, unwashed socks and even carrion in custard, but the most accurate description by far is that of a sewer full of rotting pineapples. This malodorous fruit is so offensive to many people that the durian is banned on buses, trains, taxis and aeroplanes, and all hotel-doormen will bar entry to anyone trying to smuggle one into their establishment.

Given all that, would you try one?

Robyn, the blogger behind EatingAsia, has tried durian and failed to like it—twice (“vile,” she says). But when her photographer husband suggests a third attempt, she acquiesces.

Surprisingly, Robyn finds herself liking the fruit. “I tasted a hint of butterscotch, a smidge of avocado, lots of sweetness, and something stronger, unidentifiable but not unpleasant.” Was the difference location? (Malaysians claim their durian to be better than Thailand’s.) Was it the ripeness or particular variety of durian? Had her palate broadened to be able to appreciate the flavor?

Robyn has an interesting take on it:

When it comes to fruits durian is in a class all its own. My taste buds say it has more in common with a pungent cheese than with a pineapple or a mango. And many of ‘us’ foreigners who can’t stand durian do partake of odiferous dairy products that rely on the growth of molds to achieve their distinctive character.

Something to chew on the next time a durian crosses your path. Try this: close your eyes, open your mouth, and think ‘cheese’.

In my case, I don’t know if that would be enough for me to choke it down.

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