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Strong-Smelling 'J-Queen' Durians Sell for $1,000 in Indonesia


A closeup of an opened durian fruit is seen at a food stall in Medan, Indonesia. Known as the "king of fruits", durians are popular across Southeast Asia. (AFP)
Strong-Smelling 'J-Queen' Durians Sell for $1,000 in Indonesia
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An Indonesian form of durian has been sold in a store on the island of Java for what might be a record price: $1,000 for a single fruit.

Durian is enjoyed across many parts of Asia. The fruit is considered a treat, but also known for having a strong, unpleasant smell.

A group of farmers in central Java reportedly chose the “J-Queen” durian because it was said to have a special taste and feel. A farmer named Sudarno reported their comments. He grew the two rare durians, which were sold at a store in Tasikmalaya. They were sold for a little over $1,000 apiece.

Sudarno was asked why anyone would pay such a high price for a piece of fruit. He said the production from this particular durian tree had failed in recent seasons. But a new fertilizer helped to produce fruit this year.

Sudarno described the fruit’s surface as creamy, like butter. “It’s sweet...fluffy and delicious,” he told the Reuters news agency.

Durian are often grown in small or family-operated farms. They are banned in some airports, public transportation systems and hotels in Southeast Asia because of their smell. The fruit is sometimes described as smelling like an open-air waste treatment center or turpentine when ready to eat.

Sudarno added that most of the 20 durians produced by his tree were not fully grown. Four were offered for sale, and two were sold. The others were made taken from the store after their quality worsened.

Sudarno did not know who bought the fruit.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

The Reuters news service reported this story. Jonathan Evans adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in this Story

turpentine – n. a kind of oil with a strong smell that is used to make paint thinner

creamy – adj. soft and smooth

fluffy – adj. light and soft or airy

deliciousadj. tasty

particularadj. relating to or concerned with details

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