The durian is widely regarded as the most off-putting fruit in Asia. The smell and flavor often draw comparisons to rotting foods like onions or meat. Despite this, it is so popular in China that Chinese Pizza Huts have started offering it as a pizza topping. And you thought anchovies were bad.
One brave writer for Munchies, Jamie Fullerton, decided to see just what a pie from Pizza Hut covered with the pungent fruit would taste like. According to the pizza chain, durian pizzas have actually sold quite well. “The durian pizza is a unique innovation that’s created a lot of buzz among our customers,” Pizza Hut told him. “The balanced fusion of durian, cheese, and pan dough has turned out to be a delicious, perfect match and combines the unique durian flavour with a much lighter smell.”
However, “delicious” is often in the eye of the beholder, especially when discussing a fruit that can elicit as strong of a reaction as durian. And as Fullerton found out the hard way, the “unique” flavor wasn’t quite his cup of tea. “I took a bite, gagged, dry-retched, and nearly spewed across the table,” he wrote of his durian pizza experience. “The taste was so, so strong. It painted the inside of my mouth with sappy, putrid tones of gone-off onions, meat, and sweet sweat, aggressively lingering like a murderer in a cupboard.” Wow, that’s worse than some Yelp reviews I’ve read.
Of course, that’s just one man’s opinion. Some people purport to love durian the same way people have found a way to appreciate smelly cheese, funky wines and Arby’s. That said, if you’re not sure how you feel about durian pizza, it’s probably best someone else traveled all the way to China to try it for you.