Durian is a polarizing fruit. You either hate it or love it and there’s rarely any middle ground. While others have compared the smell and taste to gym socks, feces, or rotten meat, my two cents is that the smell is reminiscent of overly-ripened mangoes. But then again, as a durian advocate, I have been told my perspective is skewed by my rare love of this controversial fruit.
Native to Southeast Asia, durians are pollinated by bats and have a creamy texture that make them a perfect ingredient to put in dessert. And even with a spiky husk that’s difficult to penetrate, the smell of the flesh is so offensive that some places (public transit in Singapore, Asian hotels) actually ban them.
Thankfully they’re not prohibited in any Los Angeles joints (that we know of) and there are plenty of places that sell them. While you can purchase these fruits at most Asian grocery stores, I prefer them sugared up and in dessert form. Here are four unique ways durians are served across L.A.