Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Durian fruits are well known for with coconut milk and durian flesh to make a dish called pulut durian. Durian is served in many regions of Southeast Asia as a side dish with savory foods. Durian pulp is pressed into blocks that are commonly sold in local markets.
Like chestnuts, durian seeds are eaten roasted, boiled, or fried. Young leaves and flower petals are sometimes eaten as vegetables.
Comments. Probably no other fruit provokes such diverse reactions as the durian. Comments range from “exquisite” and the “king of fruits” to “disgusting.” The very strong smell of the fruit has caused it to be banned from certain public places, including planes, trains, and hotels. The taste of a ripe durian has often been described as a blend of onion, garlic, almond, and cream cheese. Descriptions vary depending on ripeness and the degree of affection for the fruit.
The genus Durian comprises about 30 different species, of which 9 are grown for their edible fruits. Durians are a good source of carbohydrate, protein, vitamin C, and potassium.
This tree was possibly introduced and naturalized in Japan in very early times.
Description. Large evergreen shrub or small tree, 5-7 m (16-23 ft) tall, with white, downy hairs on young branches. Alternate whorled leaves elliptical-lanceolate, leathery, glossy dark green on the upper side and brownish-pubescent on the underside. Fragrant white flowers 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) wide are produced in terminal panicles. Yellow to orange oval, round, or pear-shaped fruits. Flesh white, orange, or yellow, subacid to fairly sweet, aromatic. Fruits contain several brown seeds. Origin and Distribution. Native to mountainous, moist subtropical forests of southeastern China. The tree was possibly introduced and naturalized in Japan in very early times. Widely cultivated in many subtropical regions and at middle elevations of tropical regions. Propagated through seeds and, more commonly, through grafting. Cultivated for its fruits and as an ornamental, the tree grows in a wide variety of soils, but needs good drainage. The loquat, which can withstand frosts to -10 °C (14 °F), grows best in warm temperate and subtropical climates. In the tropics, it prefers cool mountain climates, usually at an elevation between 800 and 1,200 m (2,6003,900 ft), with or without a dry season.
Food uses. Fully ripe loquats are eaten fresh or used in fruit salads. Because of their high pectin content, they are often made into jams and jellies. They are pickled and conserved in syrup or stewed to make desserts. Loquats are also made into preserves with spices like cloves and allspice and used to prepare chutneys and sauces. They are sometimes fermented to produce a fruit wine.
Comments. Loquats, which are low in calories, provide a good source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, manganese, and copper. Japan, Israel, and Brazil are the main producers. Reportedly, there are more than 800 varieties of the loquat tree. The seeds of loquat fruits are slightly toxic because they contain cyanogenic glycosides like amygdalin.
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