Sunday, July 31, 2011

Durio zibethinus

Durio zibethinus
 plant | Durio zibethinus |  Species. Tree grows to a height of 20 meterw or more. Leaves are dark green, smooth and shiny above, oblong to obovate-oblong, about 20 cm long, 5 to 9 cm wide.
The flowers are white to white-yellowish with a pouchlike calyx. Fruit is globular, large, 15 to 25 cm long, covered by a hard shell with stiff, sharp spines. The shell breaks into five parts to which the flesh adherent, with 2 to 4 large seeds in each section covered by the flesh. The flesh is soft and whitish with the consistency of soft cheese. The flesh has a characteristic unpleasant rank and repugnant odor, a quality that bans it from hotel lobbies and rooms. The seeds are eaten, either boilede or roasted.

The name durian comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) together with the suffix -an  (for building a noun in Malay).D. zibethinus is the only species commercially cultivated on a large scale and available outside of its native region. Since this species is open-pollinated, it shows considerable diversity in fruit colour and odour, size of flesh and seed, and tree phenology. In the species name, zibethinus refers to the Indian civet, Viverra zibetha. There is disagreement regarding whether this name, bestowed by Linnaeus, refers to civets being so fond of the durian that the fruit was used as bait to entrap them, or to the durian smelling like the civet.

Durian flowers are large and feathery with copious nectar, and give off a heavy, sour and buttery odour. These features are typical of flowers pollinated by certain species of bats that eat nectar and pollen. According to research conducted in Malaysia in the 1970s, durians were pollinated almost exclusively by cave fruit bats (Eonycteris spelaea).However, a 1996 study indicated two species, D. grandiflorus and D. oblongus, were pollinated by spiderhunters (Nectariniidae) and another species, D. kutejensis, was pollinated by giant honey bees and birds as well as bats.

Durio zibethinus
Durian with Alcohol: Reports have been made of believed adverse and sometimes lethal effects of ingesting durian while drinking alcohol. The scientific basis has not been established. A study showed a dose-dependent inhibition of yeast ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase) by sulphur-rich fruit extract. Results support the role of durian fruit's high sulphur content in its ALDH-inhibiting property providing insight into the disulfiram-ethanol-like reaction with the simulataneous fruit ingestion and alcohol consumption.

A street side durian ice cream in Bogor
Durian fruit is used to flavour a wide variety of sweet edibles such as traditional Malay candy, ice kacang, dodol, rose biscuits, and, with a touch of modern innovation, ice cream, milkshakes, mooncakes, Yule logs and cappuccino. Es durian (durian ice cream) is a popular dessert in Indonesia, sold at street side stall in Indonesian cities, especially in Java. Pulut Durian is glutinous rice steamed with coconut milk and served with ripened durian. In Sabah, red durian is fried with onions and chilli and served as a side dish. Red-fleshed durian is traditionally added to sayur, an Indonesian soup made from freshwater fish. Ikan brengkes is fish cooked in a durian-based sauce, traditional in Sumatra. Tempoyak refers to fermented durian, usually made from lower quality durian that is unsuitable for direct consumption.Tempoyak can be eaten either cooked or uncooked, is normally eaten with rice, and can also be used for making curry. Sambal Tempoyak is a Sumatran dish made from the fermented durian fruit, coconut milk, and a collection of spicy ingredients known as sambal.

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