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durian

durian, the highly esteemed, edible fruit of Durio zibethinus. The edible portions are the seeds found inside the large spiny fruits, which may weigh several pounds. The durian, although notoriously pungently malodorous (a mildly scented variety has been developed), has an aril (an extra seedcovering) that tastes like a combination of banana, caramel, and vanilla, with a slight onion tang. The seeds may be eaten raw, roasted or canned. The durian is an important cash crop in Indomalesia, particularly as an exotic export to Europe and North America. Durian is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Malvales, family Bombacaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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