Anyone who has travelled to South East Asia is most likely accustomed to jackfruit or durian. These king-size exotic fruits have more than a dozen similarities. For instance, they both have a strong and bold flavor, thorny outer rings, overpowering scents, and more.
At least as members of a common tree family, they’ve got several connections. Even so, the difference between jackfruit and durian is super clear for people who are used to them. We are going to compare jackfruit vs. durian so you know how to differentiate them.
Jackfruit vs. Durian – Exterior Appearance
Jackfruit is available in an assortment of sizes and shapes, but it largely has an oval or elliptical shape, unlike durian whose shape is circular. Jackfruit grows longer and bigger due to the oval shape. It can reach between 22 and 90 cm long and up to 50 cm wide. A smaller jackfruit can weigh approximately 2-20 kg, with bigger ones weighing up to 50 kg.
Durian often has a circular shape which can limit its ability to grow bigger. It can weigh approximately 1-4 kg and can reach 14-18 cm in diameter. Although both fruits have sharp exterior spikes, the jackfruit’s spikes are smaller and a bit blunt. The durian has larger and more intense spikes. The term durian is a Malaysian word that means thorn – so no durian without thorns!
Jackfruit & Durian – Pulp & Seed
Inside the jackfruit and durian are long seeds enclosed in soft mushy yellowish fibers. A ripe jackfruit has a brighter yellowish pulp with seeds coated in a pleasant fragrance. Its hard and slippery seeds are more or less identical to chestnuts. Jackfruit bears countless number of seeds that are packed with plenty of nutrients.
You’ll find a textured pulp with yellow or yellowish-green color inside of the durian. You need to exercise caution when handling the durian because it has a smooth, slippery interior. Inside of the fruit are seeds that are arranged in 5 separate compartments. Each compartment consists of yellowish and creamy white pulp with 1-7 chestnut-like seeds. Each seed has a shiny red-brown coating and measures anywhere between 2 and 6 inches in length.
Jackfruit or Durian – Flavor & Aroma
A fully ripened jackfruit provides squashy but firm buds with a very sweet taste. It tastes a bit musky and slightly similar to a pineapple. On the other hand, an unripe jackfruit has a meat-like taste that’s identical to chicken. As a result, it makes an excellent vegetarian substitute.
When boiled or roasted, jackfruit’s seeds taste like Brazil nuts or chestnuts. Some people describe jackfruit as having a pineapple-like scent as well as a bubblegum-like odor. It also has a scent like that of a banana or rotten onion. When fully ripe, you can either cook it or eat it raw.
On the contrary, the durian boasts a creamy and soft texture. It tastes somewhat like sweet cheese. As for its flavor, you can either love or hate it. Some people have described the durian as having different types of aroma, such as turpentine, sweaty gym socks, or stinky sewer water. Those who love the durian’s flavor and odor say it tastes like blancmange and smells very appealing
At a first glance, jackfruit and durian look somewhat identical. However, these two fruits are very different when it comes to their physical appearance, aroma and flavor. Generally speaking, the jackfruit grows taller and heavier and most people love its fruity flavor and aroma. On the contrary, the durian is smaller in size and develops intensely sharp spikes. Its sweet and creamy taste bears a close resemblance to cheese. As for aroma, the durian is very pungent. It is worth noting that the durian fruits have been banned in airports and hotels across Asia.