Jackfruit vs durian_featured

Jackfruit vs durian: the fruit, the taste and the smell

“Is jackfruit the same as durian?” We sometimes hear this question. And believe it or not, it is understandable given few shared similarities between jackfruit vs durian. Another pair of fruits that often get mistaken for one another is rambutan vs lychee.

However, if you have never tried both fruits or have only tried Jackfruit but not durian – and thinking jackfruit is the same as durian, you might be in for one big (and “fragrant”) surprise. 

We have covered many of Thailand’s seasonal fruits before, but this article will focus more more on the similarities and differences between jackfruit vs durian in this post including the fruit, the taste and most importantly, the smell.

Table of Contents

Jackfruit and durian: the similarities

Jackfruit vs durian_the tree

Both jackfruit and durian share green, hard skins with yellow to orange edible meat underneath. Each jackfruit and durian also contain multiple seeds hidden under edible meat. Jackfruit and durian are both medium to large size fruit covered with some sort of spikes. They both also grow on medium or large size trees commonly found in tropical weather.

As you can see, there aren’t many similarities between jackfruit and durian. In fact, there are many differences, especially the content inside.

Jackfruit vs. durian: the differences

jackfruit vs durian_the fruit

Let’s start with the fruit’s shape and size. Jackfruits are typically larger than durians. According to Guinness World Records, the heaviest jackfruit was as heavy as 42 kg! Additionally, durians have hard spiky skins (they can actually hurt you). In comparison, jackfruits have spikes that are small and harmless.

Durian is also more seasonal than jackfruits. In Thailand, durian trees commonly have 1 harvest per year. However jackfruits can be harvested up to 2 times per year.

Once you peel these fruits open: jackfruit meat is divided into smaller pods surrounding its core area. Whereas durian meat is divided into larger pockets.

Once ripened, both jackfruit and durian have a rich sweet taste. However, the taste and texture of both fruits are quite distinct. Jackfruits are sweet and somewhat crunchy while fully ripened durians are sweet, creamy and their texture is softer.

Lastly, Jackfruit seeds are also edible. Thai people either boil or roast the seeds and then eat them. They taste a bit like chestnut or lotus root seeds. Another way to consume the seeds is to turn them into jackfruit seed curry.

Jackfruit vs durian_seed

Jackfruit seeds are edible, you can enjoy them boiled or roasted!

Which fruit has a stronger smell? Jackfruit vs. durian showdown

The most striking difference between jackfruit and durian (actually between durian and any other fruits really) is the smell.

Durian is crowned as the world’s smelliest fruit! In fact, even in Thailand – a country where people widely consume durians, most modes of public transportation specifically ban durian!

There are also studies from local universities in Thailand around durians’ smell. One study found that as durians ripen, they show an increasing amount of organic compounds. One notable chemical is sulfur (rotten eggs derive its distinct smell from hydrogen sulfide!).

Young jackfruit as a cooking ingredient

People in Thailand also make use of young jackfruit as a cooking ingredient. Young jackfruit has a subtle sweet taste. While raw young jackfruit’s texture is a bit firm, it will soften up and offer a nice texture once boiled – making it a suitable ingredient for various kind of curry.

So, which fruit should you try?

Of course, try both! 

Jackfruit and durians are both sweet tropical fruits. But despite some similarities in their appearance, the two fruits are quite different when it comes to their taste, texture, and smell.

You’ll be able to relate to what we say here once you try both fruits. Let us know what you think about jackfruit and durian after you’ve tried them!

Check out our other posts on Thailand