Durian, a fruit common in southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia, created mayhem at a Bavarian post office in Germany says a report in The Guardian. Six people had to be hospitalized and another six had to be treated due to acute nausea after a terribly foul-smelling package arrived at the post office.
Initially, the local police thought it may be a dangerous gas but on opening the package Durian fruits were found, causing panic for a while the report says. The situation forced the evacuation of the post office.
Reports suggest Durian fruits were first used around 1580. The name was derived from the Malayan word 'duri' meaning thorn. The oblong shaped thorny fruit, weighing from one to three kilos, has a greenish brown peel with pale-yellow flesh inside.
In some southeast Asian countries people call it the "king of fruits" for its look and strong smell. The Chinese are apparently known to love Durian and the country imports the fruit from Thailand. Durian exports earn Thailand huge revenue and China is the biggest importer. Malaysia also exports large quantities of frozen Durian. The Chinese eat it raw or cook it in various ways.
Reports say, either people love the fruit or they find it intolerable for the smell, which has often been likened to rotten onions, ripe garbage or sewerage. The foul smell is known to hang in the air for days and so the fruit is banned in many countries.
According to the smithsonianmag.com, "50 discrete compounds" in Durian are responsible for its smell. The analysis shows a "mixture of different chemicals" gives the fruit its distinctive odour.