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Raising a Stink in Bali

Love it or Hate it: It's Durian Season in Bali.

(4/30/2011) It's that time of the year again: Durian season. This fact is confirmed by the distinctive smell in the air generated by road side durian sellers found on almost every busy road in Bali.

Described by its admirers as the fruit that "smells like hell, but tastes like heaven, " the world is bifurcated into those who either adore or detest the hard-spiked fruit. 

Anjani, a trader from Gianyar, told Nusa Bali how stocks of durian purchased form Rp. 2 million (US$222) can be sold over the course of 2-3 days for Rp. 5 million (US$555).

Depending on the size, aroma and overall quality of the fruit, Anjani can sell a single durian during the season for a price ranging from Rp. 10,000 (US$1.10) to Rp. 50,000 (US$5.60).

Tourist visitors wishing to experience the taste of durian might consider asking a durian vendor to select a perfectly ripe specimen on their behalf and then eating it at the roadside stand. This will serve as an added incentive for the dealer to select only the best quality and avoid the embarrassing complications of trying to bring a durian back to your hotel. As a general rule hotels, airlines and up-market public transportation in Bali strictly prohibit guests from carrying durian.

Such is the smell of this perfectly delicious fruit. Granted, it's an acquired taste; we try to acquire it as often as possible during its short season.