The Battle Over Durian


Linda Zhang, Staff Writer

Durian is a tropical fruit with thick, spiky shells on the outside and soft, sweet flesh on the inside. Known for its pungent smell, durian has been banned on many public transportation systems across the world. However, many durian lovers argue that durian deserves better recognition because it is rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B. 

First of all, eating durian makes you happy. After a long exhausting day of school or work, durian can help you feel relaxed and joyful because it contains tryptophan. Once the tryptophan gets broken down, it turns into serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that makes the brain feel happy. 

“I eat durian as a dessert after dinner, and it’s a perfect way to end the day.” —Han Phan, 9, student at Arcadia High School (AHS). 

Additionally, sleep, something that many students lack, can be improved with durian. The reason is that durian contains tryptophan, which increases the level of melatonin in one’s body. The higher the level of melatonin, the more the hormone that controls one’s ability to sleep cycles. As a result, the cycling of hormones increases one’s quality of sleep. 

Containing calcium and potassium, durian is crucial in the development of healthy bones. Not only does the fruit increase bone density, but it also improves joint flexibility and reinforces collagen fibers. Therefore, eating durian decreases one’s chance of having osteoporosis. 

The popularization of durian allows the fruit to be embedded into various desserts. For instance, the moonlight festival is a Chinese holiday when various flavors of mooncakes are enjoyed. The growing acceptance of durian led to the creation of durian mooncakes. Moreover, durian cream puffs remain to be one of the most popular ways to eat durian in East Asia, as well as durian pillow crepes. 

“My family brought durian mooncakes for the mooncake festival. It was really good and we would definitely buy it again.” —Ellie Wu, 9, student at AHS. 

Aside from many delicious desserts made with durian and its hidden benefits, misconceptions about the fruit continue to turn people away from it. For instance, many believe that durian can cause a rise in bold cholesterol, while the fruit itself does not contain any dietary cholesterol. Moreover, it is also believed that eating durian with beer can be lethal. However, there are no scientific studies that have proven this claim to be true. 

Durian is named the “King of Fruits” because of its high nutritional value and distinct taste. Some demonstrate their extraordinary love for durian by blending it into various dishes, while others could not bring themselves to stand the smell of it. All in all, durian is a controversial fruit that many either love or hate. 


Photo by Jim Teo