In Pattaya, summer smells like durian. The pungent fruit may be so odiferous many businesses prohibit eating it indoors, but still tops the list of favorite sweets for Thais during warm weather. Firm on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside, durian comes in dozens of varieties, some which have even been genetically engineered not to reek.
The Kanyao, Monthong and Chanee varieties were selling best May 8 at a street market in North Pattaya.
Vendor Direk Khaewdum, 36, said he’s been selling durian for years, buying them from Chantaburi and selling them for up to 60 baht a kilogram.
Vendor Direk Khaewdum sells his durian at the Hollywood three-way intersection in North Pattaya.
Durians have been selling so well, some have been getting into fruit selling just for the hot months, he said.
Another reason for their popularity could be that durians are a guilty pleasure. In addition to its stench, the fruit is also extremely high in cholesterol and eating even moderate quantities has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.