Durian is a large, green, thorny fruit cultivated in south east Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. It is considered a great delicay by most, and is also known the 'king of fruits'.
To the foreigner, the most distinctive feature is apparently its seriously pungent smell, which to western tastes can be repellent. Novelist Anthony Burgess famously compared eating durian to 'eating vanilla custard in a latrine'. Such is its odour that eating the fruit is largely banned in hotels and on public transport.
The fruit is considered by many to be an aphrodisiac, which is perhaps surprising considering the smell, which is often described as similar to rotten eggs. More kindly descriptions of the durian's odour liken it to an extremely ripe cheese such as a camambert or brie.
If you can get past the olfactory difficulties with the fruit, the flesh inside the tough prickly casing is mild and creamy, with a custard-like texture.