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Durian, King | © christopher1710 / Pixabay
Durian, King | © christopher1710 / Pixabay
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Durian and Booze: Can You Indulge in Both?

Picture of Kelly Iverson
Updated: 19 July 2017
Whether it is its potent smell or intimidating exterior, durian is not a fruit that goes unnoticed by visitors to Southeast Asia. Otherwise known as the “King of the Fruits,” locals and tourists alike have a love-hate relationship with this particular fruit, and there are rumors circulating about durian that everyone should know before partaking in a taste test. Here is why you should probably never drink booze while eating durian.

With entire fairs dedicated to durian, durian chips, durian-flavored ice cream, etc., the locals seem like they simply cannot get enough of this overpowering, fragrant fruit. Thailand is one of the biggest exporters of durian, though it is actually native to Borneo and Sumatra. And while locals will eat this fruit in all forms and at any time of day, one thing visitors will not see them doing is downing durian while chugging a beer, or any other alcohol for that matter.

Rumor has it that those indulging in both beer and durian will find themselves with an exploding stomach—we are not talking exploding in the sense of being stuck at the porcelain throne for a few hours either. We’re talking a proper explosion, one that could even lead to death.

Some locals classify both alcohol and the “King of the Fruits” as being “hot” or “heaty” agents, and when mixed together, it can apparently result in death. In other words, locals believe that the fermentation process of the fruit, catalyzed by gas in the bowels, can cause the stomach to explode. Though beer is supposedly the most dangerous drink to consume in conjunction with this fruit, Thais warn against drinking any alcoholic beverages for those who have eaten durian within the past few hours.

Visitors will not be able to escape the potent smell of this fruit. Thailand grows over a million tons of durian every year. It is found on soi after soi across the country, particularly in Bangkok and provinces where durian grows, including Rayong and Chanthaburi. If visitors are brave enough to devour durian during their endeavors, they should leave the alcoholic beverages for someone else’s consumption—just to be safe.