Big, bold, and yellow – these two fruits may look similar and are both tasty tropical fruits. But, are they even from the same family? Jackfruit vs durian – let’s break it all down!
Jackfruit vs Durian: What’s the difference?
Are jackfruit and durian the same thing? Well, no. They are actually from totally different families. In addition to being two of the strangest fruits, they do have a lot of similarities, however. Both jackfruit and durian are native to South East Asia, they both are strong in smell, and are both large in size.
Jackfruit is believed to be from Southern India and dates back over 5000 years. It is a part of the Moraceae family (which also is home to the fig). Jackfruit is the largest fruit to grow on a tree and has to grow near the trunk of the tree to ensure there is enough strength to support its large size. Be sure to check out our post all about jackfruit for more info!
Durian belongs to the Malvaceae family and originated from Sumatra and Borneo. It dates back to the 15th century. Durian is not as big as the jackfruit, weighing only about a third of the weight of a jackfruit. Because of this smaller size, they grow higher up on the tree, across branches.
Appearance and Smell
Both jackfruit and durian are thorny in appearance. They are both pungent in smell but have some distinct differences.
Jackfruit has more bumps rather than thorns, making it possible to pick up jackfruit. The inside of it is interlaced with slimy fibers making it difficult to break down the fruit. Jackfruit is described as smelling like bubble gum, pineapple, banana, and rotten onions. And because of that last smell, it is sometimes banned in public places. Jackfruit averages about 2 feet long and can weigh up to 40 pounds.
Durian, on the other hand, is banned in most public places because of its much more pungent smell that is described as smelly socks or sewer water. It has a truly thorny rind that can cut your hands open if picked up quickly. The inside of durians is well organized and easy to get to. Durian is only about 1 foot long and can weigh up to 7 pounds making it much smaller than jackfruit.
When comparing jackfruit vs durian taste, they have pretty different flavors and textures.
Jackfruit’s flavor depends a lot on the ripeness of the fruit. Fully ripe jackfruit is very dense, fibrous, sweet that is crunchy when eaten. Whereas unripe jackfruit is similar to the texture of chicken and has a mild flavor that can take on whatever flavor it is cooked with.
Durian has a creamy and soft texture, like a banana. Its flavor is a mixture of sweet and savory, like a sweet cheese. The flavor is very hard to describe but due to the texture and slight sweetness, it can be harder to cook with durian or use as a meat substitute.
In general, jackfruit and durian are pretty similar nutrition-wise. The major difference is that durian is higher in fiber, fats, and carbs but jackfruit is higher in protein.
In regards to minerals and vitamins, durian is higher in copper, zinc, and iron. Jackfruit is higher in calcium and potassium. Durian is higher in vitamin B1 and B2 while jackfruit is higher in vitamin A and E.
Both of these fruits contain antibacterial properties against foodborne pathogens and drug-resistant bacteria. These properties are linked to the vitamin C content and flavonoid of each fruit.
In general, durian is more commonly used for sweet dishes, and jackfruit is used as a meat substitute. Because unripe jackfruit is so mild in flavor and even has a meat-like texture, it makes it the perfect meat swap. Here are some ideas for both jackfruit and durian. It should be noted that durian can be hard to find in the states while jackfruit can be commonly found canned in stores.