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durian

Pronunciation: [DOOR-ee-uhn]

This larger-than-life fruit of the Malaysian tree can weigh up to 10 pounds, has a brownish-green, semihard shell covered with thick spikes, and is slightly larger than a football. To all but its Southeast Asian fans, the durian has a nauseating smell—a truth attested to by the fact that it's been outlawed by many airlines. The creamy, slightly sweet flesh, however, has an exquisitely rich, custardy texture. Asian markets sometimes carry fresh durian in the early summer months. Other forms available are frozen, canned and preserved dried durian.