Durian + beer

by recon
Tags: beer, durian
recon is offline
Oct21-03, 02:14 AM
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In my part of the world, durian is regarded as the king of fruits. I myself don't like it personally, but I was just wondering if anyone here knows why (EDIT: and how) durian eaten with a drink of beer may be fatal. Apparently, it causes some kind of an explosion in your bowels. I'm not sure if any of this is true, but until I do, I best eschew from carrying out any personal experiments. Anyone here care to give it a go? [;)]
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iansmith is offline
Oct21-03, 07:53 AM
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I have been told by a number of people that beer can be fatal, if drunk within a few hours of eating durian. This is apparently on account of some fermentation process, which causes your bowels to explode. However, based on my own experiments, this rumor appears to be totally untrue. WARNING : Not everyone has the same metabolism, so I take no responsibility if you try it and achieve a different result.
Durian + Whiskey = Death? - June 14, 2001

There is a widely held belief in Thailand that eating durian and drinking whiskey can cause death. This appears to be from the Thai-Chinese tradition of assigning foods qualities of "hotness" or "coldness." The idea being that one should not consume too much of a hot or cold food, but balance things out with some of each. Both whiskey and durian are considered to be extremely hot in character and thus eating both would make one too hot and cause death.

Durian is an unusual fruit. It grows in gigantic spiky husks that must be slashed open with cleavers. Its fleshy sickly yellow pulp is either ambrosia or something unsuitable for human consumption, depending on your point of view. The smell is penetrating. Across the region, carrying durians on buses or trains is prohibited because of the annoying odor. Thai Airways has special metal boxes in the holds of their planes to transport durians for passengers.

Is it possible some component that makes up the pungent odor might combine with alcohol and form a poisonous chemical? And if so, why only whiskey? What about beer or vodka? A friend of ours makes durian wine. Is he poisoning himself by drinking it? Where are the official warnings? Surely a drunken tourist might eat some durian without knowing and die.

Even some local doctors have told us it is not safe to eat whiskey and durian, but the explanation, that they are both "hot" foods, is not very satisfying. Considering the vast quantities of durian and whiskey consumed here, if the two were fatal in combination, there would likely be corpses littering the restaurants and pubs each night.

Update - July 26, 2001 - Thanks to the dozens of people who have written confirming they have consumed whiskey and durian without dying. The whiskey/durian urban legend seems similar to a new urban legend from Taiwan being reported on the Urban Legends Reference Pages: vitamin C + shrimp = death
It is probaly a urban legend.
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Oct21-03, 03:38 PM
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In the U.S. a glass of milk with cherry pie is considered poisonous by some --- just souring of the milk by the cherries, and the durian-alcohol connection is probably similar folklore. At the same time, alcohol DOES affect transport of chemicals across cell membranes; the variety of sulfur compounds present in durian, and their concentrations in the fruit to be detectable by scent at a distance of a kilometer --- again, probably not a problem, but the variability in taste, odor, and texture described for this little stinker leaves room for the odd question here and there regarding ranges of concentrations of toxic materials in the fruits "on the hoof."

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