Monday, 14 January 2008

What Would Wine Taste Like If We Couldn't Smell It?

I read an article in the Independent the other day on the infamous Durian fruit and it got me thinking what would wine taste like if we couldn't smell it? Durian fruit - if you have never come across them before - are an Asian delicacy with a heavenly taste and the unfortunate smell of an open sewer.

Having eaten Durian in Singapore I can tell you first hand that it’s creamy like custard, is sweet, nutty and sort of like eating goat’s cheese laced with sherry – and it stinks. Strangely enough you are not supposed to eat Durians with alcohol as it is believed to poison you – this has not been medically proven one way or the other but I played safe and a glass of wine was out of the question.

Durians are banned from many hotels and airlines in south east Asia due to the pong and the Thai Government is set to announce that one of its leading horticultural scientists has cracked the challenge of producing a durian that does not smell.

Thailand is the world's leading durian producer, growing nearly 800,000 tonnes a year, worth £45m, and it fell to Dr Songpol Somsri to seek to expand the durian's appeal by cross-breeding up to 90 varieties until he had excised its most pungent whiffs.

Dr Somsri confirmed that after 30 years of studying the fruit he has produced a hybrid with a perfume no more offensive than that of a banana.

But while those with more delicate nostrils may be grateful to Dr Somsri, Durian traditionalists are unlikely to be impressed.

Images Courtesy of

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