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The world’s stinkiest donut

by Michael on June 16, 2012

One of the things we’re tasting on this journey are donuts from around the world. But there was one donut that smelled so awful we couldn’t eat it. It pains us to even think of donuts in a bad way, but we met our match in a durian donut in Malacca, Malaysia.

Durian night market Singapore

It appears this vendor at a night market in Singapore let her love of durian go to her head.

Durian is rightfully known as the stinky fruit. When it’s cut open it emits a foul odor that I can only compare to a combination of sweaty sneakers, old fish and sewer effluent. It’s popular in Asia but there’s a reason many hotels have signs in the lobby that say “No Durian!”

No durian sign

Signs banning durian indoors are common throughout Southeast Asia.

We were walking around Malacca (which is a great place to visit with a unique culinary heritage) when we saw a sign for “Big Apple Donuts.” Though we’re no longer surprised when we see New York City food references in far-flung locations, we decided to check it out.

Durian donut store

The durian donuts are filled to order so they don’t stink up the other donuts, or perhaps the bakery and drive away customers.

We saw one tray of donuts off to the side that looked spiky, like a puffy version of a durian fruit. At many shops in Asia the donuts are given names with cute plays-on-words. So naturally the durian donut was called “Durian Durian.” This made us hungry like a wolf so we decided to try one.

The lady behind the counter explained that they are filled to order and we soon understood why. We took the donut to a table where Michael served as the guinea pig for a durian donut taste test. Click the white arrow below to watch a video of it, but first a warning, the results are not pretty.



Durian donut larissa stinky

Larissa was a bit skeptical of my reaction so she tried one herself.

Click the link for more donuts around the world.


MissElaineous June 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

The photo above and video are priceless but I’m glad to see the stench didn’t affect your ability to generate puns. How did your donut compare to Veggimite?

donna June 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I’ve heard the tales of the durian fruit, but didn’t think people actually ate them! Is it an acquired, cultural taste? Is it usually eaten raw? Just curious.Thanks……..have fun.

Michael June 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

At least Vegemite didn’t smell as foul. But there’s an idea, how about a Vegemite donut?

Michael June 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

Durian is usually eaten raw and like many of these things you probably have to grow up eating it. Eaten raw it tastes sort of like garlic ice cream.

Barbara June 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

I have never had the guts to try this fruit. I have smelled it in the food market(in 13th arrt) where we buy our Asian products. It is a real “bomb” and your video is pretty explicit.
At least you had the courage to try!!

Michael June 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

You have to try Durian at least one to know what all the hoopla is about. Just don’t bring it into your house. We made that mistake in Bali.

Federico June 20, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Lol, great article…and here’s a thought: how about a durian donut with vegemite spread on it?

Michael June 21, 2012 at 5:51 am

We’ll wait for you to try that one.

Ellen June 28, 2012 at 3:12 am

Hilarious! But why would anyone decide to eat something that smells so foul? Of course, some people say that about a few of the French cheeses I like, but this stinky fruit seems a lot worse.

Tunie December 9, 2012 at 10:00 pm

As a durian lover I can only say that perhaps it loses a lot in the cooking process. Fresh durian smells like fruit – super rich and pungent, but pungent like mushrooms are when they’re straight from the forest. Still, predominantly fruity, however. When it’s over-ripe and alcoholic, (or possibly cooked), then you get the gassy, garlicy, sulfuric overtones. I grew up on the standard american diet (s.a.d.) and it was still love at first bite.

I think it might be something like the relationship people have with cilantro – some peoples senses are just built differently.

Michael December 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Hi Tunie,

You make a good point about what people grow up with. I know some people who have an aversion to cilantro while I hardly even notice it.

Take care,


Michael December 9, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Some of the French cheeses can smell pretty nasty too, even when we triple bag them.

Tony April 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

That was funny. I’m familiar as my wife is Vietnamese and she loves durian. I hate durian and if she starts to eat it I have to go to another room. Thank goodness that it is illegal to carry this onto airplanes. I can just imagine someone munching on this in the plane stinking up the whole place. Where’s my parachute!

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