First time here? Let me show you around.
I’m Lindsay, and this website is all about exploring the wonderful intersection of food, nature, and travel through durian, the King of Fruits and a magical, magical quirk of evolution.
Whether you are already a loyal addict or have just purchased your first durian and don’t know what to do with it, you have come to the right place.
This page will help you navigate this website and get you started on your own durian-driven journey.
What is Year of the Durian?
The Year of the Durian is based on the fact that it is always durian season somewhere in Southeast Asia.
In 2012, my husband Rob and I set out on a 12-month mission to follow the durian season, a journey that led us through 9 countries and to hundreds of delicious, intriguing durians and the interesting people who grow them.
We called our project the “Year of the Durian.”
We started this blog for fun, and ended up connecting with other durian lovers who wrote to us wanting to know how to incorporate a durian adventure into their trips to Southeast Asia.
In 2014, I (Lindsay) took friends on a guided durian tour of Uttaradit, Thailand. It was so much fun, in 2015 I led an 8-day tour in Malaysia and also co-organized the Bao Sheng Durian Festival. For information on what I’m doing this year, check out the Tours Page.
To find out more about me and how I started doing such a wacky thing with my life, you can the About Page.
Now to the basics.
This is durian:
Durian is one of the largest tropical fruits, although it is not as big as a jackfruit (and is not at all similar to jackfruit. At all.)
The word durian is derived from the Malaysian word for thorns, durio. It’s most outstanding characteristic, however, is the pungent aroma that issues from the fruit once it is ripe. No edible product in the Western World rivals this odor in strength except maybe blue cheese, which is hardly an edible substance and is not at all as delicious as durian.
This is what durian looks like inside:
Within the hard, spiny shell is a custard as smooth as a whipped pudding, sweet as vanilla ice cream, and savory as garlic bread. It is, in my opinion, one of the best tasting foods on this planet.
Beyond satisfying our sensory needs, the durian embodies the often absurd and unexplained dualities of the world.
Superficially disagreeable but lovely on the inside, it’s an inherent didactic metaphor.
There are many overused sayings about durian like “Smells like hell but tastes like heaven,” and “Never judge a durian by it’s smell.”
Durian is more than just a fruit. It’s a life lesson rolled into a gustatory experience.
How to Navigate Yearofthedurian.com:
- Destinations: Browse by location to find fun farms and convenient buffets where you can stuff your face. I’ve eaten durian in 13 countries.
- Durian Varieties: Head to the gallery to see my collection of photos of over 100 durian varieties and species from all over the world.
- Recipes: Find fun fusion and traditional ways to play with durian and incorporate it into yummy cuisine.
- FAQ: There are certain questions that people frequently ask me, like where to buy durian online or where to go in Bangkok to find durian or how best to choose a durian.
- Books: Find my favorite travel guides and fruit hunting inspirations.
Why Go Durian Hunting?
Technically, there’s already a term for traveling to eat durian. It’s called agritourism, and it’s a growing trend in all countries, not just Thailand or Malaysia!
Agritourism is the idea that we experience a place best by consuming the foods that grow there and physically making the soil and sunshine of that place part of us.
By taking the time to travel back to the farms and meet the people whose lives are entangled with durian, we get a richer sense of place, culture, and flavor.
Durian is unlike most fruits in that it already has a diehard fanclub, who appreciate its myriad flavors with a passion similar to the wine tasting community. You can go to durian degustations and durian “restaurants” to taste many different kinds of durian in one sitting.
Every region has its own special varieties, some that are more common, and others that are quite rare. If you take the time and energy to go looking for the more rare and precious fruits, you’ll be rewarded with an adventure, some new friends, and a delicious and memorable experience.
Fruit fun facts, a seasonal guide and more!
This 12-month calendar will show you where the durian season is
Find rare durians near you or be inspired to go looking for them!
Thanks for visiting!
Good luck on the durian trail!