Pricey durian selling like hot cakes in Chennai

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Chennai, June 28 : The demand for spiny durian fruit shoots up in Chennai, as the fruit is believed to possess medicinal qualities for increasing woman's estrogen hormone enabling her to conceive.

It is also said to be rich in carbohydrates, protein and fats.

Under its hardy shell are sections of pale yellow flesh with a consistency that can be as soft and oozy as custard, along with a flavour that is nutty and sweet with hints of vanilla and an occasional bitter bite.

The traders of durian in the markets of Chennai are receiving good response from the public even though it is costly.

"Durian fruit has good medical benefits and are rare to get. Though it is costlier, I bought it because it has good medicinal benefit for health," said Vinayakam, the trader.

The durian tree is native to Southeast Asia, primarily Sumatra and Borneo, but could easily be transplanted to equatorial Africa, equatorial Central America, or Southern United States.

The customers have to shell out around Rs 400 to 500 to enjoy the taste of the fruit.

"Durian fruits are usually available only in Thailand and Singapore. It's now in India. It tastes excellent and has medicinal benefits for pregnant ladies so people buy it a lot. Now, it is costing rupees 400 to 500 per piece and in off peak season, it costs 700 to 800 per piece of fruit," said Senthil Kumar, a shopkeeper.

The fruit distinctive for its large size and unique odour is widely known and revered in Southeast Asia as the "King of Fruits."

Thailand has aggressively commercialized the fruit and is exporting it around the world. Last year, it sold about 50 million durians abroad, worth about 90 million dollars.

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