Durian is certainly the most intimidating of all the fruits in Asia, earning it the title of "king of fruits." Its exterior is bulky and downright frightening. Its jagged edge looks more like the gray, spiky ball from minesweeper than it does an actual fruit that one can eat. In addition to its rough exterior, its interior has yet to impress many of locals and foreigners with its potent and unpleasant stench.
Durian fruits have been described as smelling similar to everything from feet to trash and to even a gas leak, causing one college campus in Australia to be evacuated. The smell of this fruit is so strong that it is banned from many public places throughout Asia.
Durian is grown throughout Southeast Asia. In Thailand, it spots the eastern countryside, and the Kingdom is one of the biggest exporters of the fruit. Durian also grows in countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, and in some parts of the Philippines as well. Beloved throughout the region, you'll find its presence in many Southeast Asian cities with entire fairs dedicated to its smelly existence. This culinary phenomenon is also one of the most expensive fruits to purchase, oftentimes keeping newbies from buying one for a taste test as to not waste money.
For those travelers to Southeast Asia who are afraid to try the fruit in its original state, there are many spinoffs of durian. From ice cream to coffee, globetrotters with adventurous taste buds are sure to find a variation that best suits their palate. To get a taste of the so-called "king of fruits," here are ten ways you can devour some durian. Shutterstock
Durian ice cream
One of the least daunting of ways in which to devour durian is in ice cream form. It is potent yet refreshing, and eating it is a good way to keep cool in Southeast Asia's otherwise hot climate. iStock
There are all kinds of potato chip flavors, but why not delve into a bag of durian chips, instead? This crunchy alternative to its normally slimy self is both refreshing and great for those snackers who find themselves on the go. iStock
Everyone loves their fair share of dried fruit, so why not add durian to the list? It is a bit less flavorful than its natural form, allowing shy appetites to come out of their shells and try this intimidating fruit. Shutterstock
Wrapped up in one too many sheets of plastic is durian toffee. One will feel like a dog with peanut butter stuck to the top of its mouth as they try to get through the small yet potent piece of chewy, sticky candy. iStock
Durian puffs have it all; the potent taste, creamy texture, and a hint of sugar make it one of the least abrasive snacks of them all, filled into a pastry. Shutterstock
Coffee connoisseurs may be horrified to hear that durian coffee is a thing. Grab a cup of joe enhanced with this potent fruit to see what all the hype is about. Shutterstock
Durian over coconut milk with sticky rice
Durian over coconut milk with sticky rice is considered a delicacy in Thailand. Coconut milk-based desserts are especially popular here, particularly when they are flavored with the 'King of the Fruits.' Shutterstock
One will not long forget the taste of durian pie after having a bite or two. Diners may want to leave this particular pie off the menu during the holidays, as it will certainly stink up the entire dining room. iStock
If you are going to try the world's smelliest fruit, you might as well do it with one of the world's greatest pleasures: chocolate. It captures its strong flavor without the horrid smell. Thailand is even rumored to be releasing a durian flavored Kit Kat. Muhammad Farid/Shutterstock.com
To all the readers out there with shy palates, we understand where you may be hesitant to delve face first into a plastic container of durian. That being said, this is one fruit every world traveler should try when sampling different dishes, desserts, and street foods from around the world.
More From The Daily Meal:
Burping Is Good Manners and 25 Other Etiquette Surprises From Around the World
Bread Around the World: From Baguettes to Naan
The Best Food and Drink in Every State
America's 25 Best Indian Restaurants
The Most Outrageous Restaurant Dish in Every State Shutterstock