Essay 2 - Food.docx - Vu 1 Hong Vu Professor Jennifer...

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Vu 1Hong VuProfessor Jennifer McGuireEnglish 1AMarch 13, 2019Durian“King of Tropical Fruit” is the name people often use to describe durian. If you’ve never traveled to Southeast Asia, it’s possible that you have never encountered durian, the famous fruit that is very popular in the region. Almost everyone is surprised the first time they see durian, because it is covered in formidable looking spikes. After cutting it open with a knife, you can seethe yellow, chicken-like segments that are soft to the touch. Even before seeing, people can smellthem by their strong, heavy scent that fills the air. Durian is not only famous because of its smell,but also its taste. To understand how durian got its “fame”, it is important to know its origin, the nutritional value which durian provides, and its impacts on the economy of Southeast Asian countries. The origin of durian is the first thing that makes durian be famous. In the research of JuliaF. Morton, Professor of Biology and Director of the Morton Collectanea, University of Miami, durian was found wild or semi-wild in South Tenasserim, Lower Burma, and around villages in peninsular Malaya, and was commonly cultivated along roads or in orchards from southeastern India and Ceylon to New Guinea (Morton). Durian comes from Southeast Asia, and the durian tree is a tropical fruit tree under the hibiscus family, Malvaceae. The name “Durian” comes from Malaysian “Duri”. There are 30 recognized Durio species, while only 9 of them have been identified for producing edible fruits, and only “Durio Zibethinus” is available in the international market. Morton wrote in her research paper that durian has been known for a long
Vu 2time, but it became popular in Southeast Asia 400 years ago. This was a result of a lively trade indurian between lower Burma to upper Burma. Based on Morton’s report, Durian was prized in the Royal Palace, and after the trading, it was planted in a lot of countries in Southeast Asia such as Thailand and South Vietnam.She also mentioned the time in which durian was planted in America, “The durian is rare in the New World. Seeds from Java were planted at the Federal Experiment Station in Mayaguez,Puerto Rico in 1920…. Seedlings have lived only briefly in southern Florida” (Morton). This also the first evidence that showed durian is known in the Americas 100 years ago. However, outside of the Americas, the Western world has known about durian since the 15th century. The first record of durian in the Western world is from Niccolò da Conti, who traveled to southeastern Asia in the 15th century. The record was translated from the Latin, “They (people ofSumatra) have a green fruit which they call durian, as big as a watermelon. Inside there are five things like elongated oranges, and resembling thick butter, with a combination of flavors” (“Durio”). In addition, durian was introduced into Australia in the early 1960s and clonal material was first introduced in 1975 (Morton). Thus, even durian comes from Southeast Asia, it became known over time in Western countries as well as Australia.

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