Durian and noni are two types of the exotic fruit grown in Southeast Asia. They are renowned for their strong, unpleasant odors (noni is also known as the vomit fruit) and strange shapes. Aside from looking odd and having powerful, nasty smells, they don’t have much in common. There are several differences between noni and durian.
Vomit Fruit vs ‘King of Fruits’ – What Do They Look Like?
Both fruits have considerable variation, with over 80 species of noni available and hundreds of different types of durian cultivated. However, no matter the variety, each fruit has distinctive physical features that are pretty consistent.
Durian fruit has a pear-shaped, woody, spiky exterior, a little like a horse chestnut. The edible part of the fruit is inside this hard shell and is soft, kidney-shaped, and usually yellow or white, but it can come in other colors, such as red or green.
Noni fruit is green, which changes to a more yellowish-green hue when ripe. They’re usually about the size and shape of an average potato, with a knobbly texture and small lumpy nodules that poke out from the skin. The inner flesh is pale, often off-white, slightly jelly-like, and full of dark seeds.
The Noni Tree and The Durian Tree.
The plants that give us these two stinking Asian fruit are very different from one another.
Noni fruit grows on leafy shrubs named morinda citrifolia. They stand about 15 ft tall and can develop into full trees which stand about 30 ft in height. They give fruit all year round, which needs to be harvested from the trees.
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However, the fruit of the durian falls from the plant itself when ripe. It grows on giant trees with broad trunks that grow as tall as 130 ft.
The World’s Smelliest Fruit – Vomit Fruit
While both fruits are renowned for their intense, unpleasant fragrance, they smell quite different.
Noni is sometimes named the ‘cheese fruit’ and sometimes ‘the vomit fruit.’ Both of these names give a good idea of its foul aroma. It’s generally described as smelling of strong, stale blue cheese mixed with the scent of bile and has an unpleasantly sweet undertone. In addition, it smells generally rotten, as if it has gone off.
Durian is so notoriously foul-smelling, with an odor that can linger on fabric for days after eating, that it is banned from many hotels and public transport in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s generally described as smelling like putrid onions, smelly socks, turpentine, and even rotting flesh. While no one seems to have anything positive to say about the smell of the noni fruit, opinions vary on the durian. While most find its scent absolutely disgusting, there is a vocal minority who claim to like the smell.
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Noni Fruit vs Durian – Taste
Luckily, fresh durian fruit doesn’t taste like its foul odor, often compared to desserts. Instead, its fans describe it as tasting like a creamy custard apple, with the texture of set cheesecake and a vanilla aftertaste. In addition, it has a mellow, slightly caramel taste that is widely regarded as delicious.
However, noni tastes a lot more as it smells. It’s said to taste different depending on how ripe the fruit is. Still, the flavor is generally compared to rotten cheese, combined with a powerful, tangy, and sour flavor similar to pineapple or citrus fruit. Noni fruit is described as a ‘famine’ fruit, meaning it’s useful as it can be harvested all year round and is eaten when food is scarce. Other options are limited rather than because it has a pleasant taste.
While durian may be delicious, noni is an acquired taste. Much of the fruit’s popularity in recent years comes not from its flavor but from its many purported health benefits.
Despite their strange appearances and unpleasant smells, both fruits are highly nutritious. One thing they have in common is they have recently become popular as part of diets and in health supplements.
Both durian and noni have been linked to claims that eating them or drinking their fruit juice can ease the symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer. While no significant scientific evidence suggests this is true, both fruits are packed with vitamins and compounds that benefit health.
Both noni and durian are unusually high in antioxidant plant compounds, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Foods containing high levels of antioxidants have been proven to help reduce damage caused by oxidative stress. As such, it’s possible that eating noni and durian fruit may lower the risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Both fruits have a high nutritional value as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Durian is very high in vitamins, having a higher nutrient density than any other fruit. A single cup contains 80% of your daily value of vitamin C. It contains significant amounts of thiamine, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and folate.
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So despite their strange appearance and potent, off-putting odor, noni and durian fruit have multiple health benefits. They may have many differences, but both make an excellent addition to your diet.
The noni fruit and the infamous durian are two examples of strange fruit with a pungent smell that benefits your overall health. The antioxidant capacity is high, particularly with noni juice, despite the taste being off-putting. Suppose you can add durian and noni into your diet in moderation. You can improve your heart health and decrease the risks of several conditions and diseases.
Other less smelly, edible fruit from Asia with similar health benefits include rambutan, breadfruit, or pomelo, one of the largest citrus fruits that are similar to grapefruit and are very popular in the region.