Melbourne Celebrates The Smelly Durian Fruit

The durian fruit has long had a bad reputation in through Southeast Asia for its foul stench. Termed the world’s most noxious fruit, it was nevertheless celebrated for the second year running in Melbourne.

Earlier this March, the annual Durian Fest was held for the second time in the Docklands area of Melbourne. Held on March 10, the festival saw hundreds attend to sample the large, heavy, spikey, and incredibly smelly fruits that vaguely resemble the eggs of a dragon from Game of Thrones. Their pungent smell has been compared to rotten onions, turpentine, dirty socks, and raw sewage.

The fruits in an Asian market

While many people find the taste of this fruit too unpleasant, a small minority enjoy it, calling its nutty taste similar to vanilla, ripe cheese, bananas, garlic, caramel, and onions all at once. Many visitors to Southeast Asia consider tasting the durian as something of a rite of passage. However, it is so pungent, it’s banned in hotels, subways, buses, and airports across parts of Southeast Asia.

This year’s festival, held on March 10, consisted of four separate sittings, each with an all-you-can-eat durian barbeque, durian cake and fresh durian. There were also other varieties of barbeques and tropical fruit. The sittings were accompanied with numerous performances to entertain visitors. These included a traditional Chinese performance, a DJ, kids performances, and during the late sitting, a lingerie show!

The Docklands, Melbourne

These events took place at The Conder Restaurant in Docklands to coincide with the Lantern Festival which marks the first full moon of the lunar new year and closes the Chinese New Year.

While the festival may be over this year, the durian season lasts until August, so there are plenty of chances to try this “king of fruits”. Just remember to drink lots of water to prevent the fruit from giving you a sore throat!


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