From the BBC. Here is one bit.

Researchers have found an odour gene which gives the thorny fruit its notoriously pungent scent.

The discovery meant the possibility of creating “odourless or milder-tasting” fruits in future, the scientists said.

It has sparked mixed feelings from durian aficionados, who worship its signature rank smell.

“A durian without its smell is nothing but an empty shell with no essence,” wrote Singaporean Richie Liang on Facebook, who also compared “a durian without its unique smell” to “a human being who has lost his or her soul”.

Both the smell and the taste of this odd fruit are highly overrated. Doesn’t mean it’s not good, but I imagine it is the pungent smell which attracts so many diehard fans.

For those interested, the explanation of the smell is to attract animals so that it would be eaten and seeds spread. Why we find it repugnant now isn’t clear, nor why other fruit typically smells so delicious either.

It was one of the first things I tried here in China and the stench lofted in my kitchen for at least a week.


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