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Well, that could change after you encounter this most unusual fruit called durian. The durian looks like a green rugby ball covered in spines. Believe me, you should be able to smell these from far far away!

Forbidden Fruit

The easiest way to identify a durian is not its shape but the way it smells! Some people think it smells like camembert cheese, others compare it to the smell of a sewer or even of a rotting corpse. Something of an overstatement maybe? I can assure you that the first time I walked beside a pile of durian, I immediatly knew what they were! Someone was selling these fruits a hundred yards away from our guesthouse and we soon took the habit of pinching our nose when we walked by. I made a promise to myselft to taste it next time I visit this area.

Its taste can only be described as…indescribable, something you will either love or despise. Mmm well!

Forbidden Fruit - Dehydrated Mango Slices

Not very convincing, right? The five cells are silky-white within, and are filled with a mass of firm, cream-coloured pulp, containing about three seeds each. Eve in turn tempted Adam into trying the Forbidden Fruit and at once the two of them became aware of their nakedness and tried to hide themselves out of shame, when God came to visit them they became afraid and tried to hide. Yet God found them and thus, this began the event known as the Fall of Man.

It is said the tree the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that bore the Forbidden Fruit still exists in the Garden of Eden but God has sent a powerful angel to guard the gates of Eden so that no mortal may enter it, as was part of his punishment for Adam and Eve's transgression. The Forbidden Fruit is often identified as an apple in Christianity's holy text known as the Bible. Children like to take the Y-shaped joints where branches divide to make slingshots they use to hunt small animals or as a toy.

The leaves of the guava tree have an amazing ability to absorb odours. At the time when ancient historical sites like badly deteriorated stupas were being excavated by Thai government archaeologists to collect their valuable contents before thieves got to them, this property of the leaves proved useful.

Some of the ancient stupas had precious antique objects buried underneath them, and the more valuable they were, the deeper the officials would have to dig to reach them.

Forbidden fruit

When descending into the deep, vertical channels leading down to them, they had to deal both with darkness and with a musty and dangerous stink that filled the long-enclosed spaces. The way they dealt with the smell, using a method that was both cheap and efficient, was to cut branches from guava trees and throw them down into the pit first. The leaves would absorb the smell and the officials would follow them down. If the smell was still strong and the leaves on the first branches had withered, more would be put in until the smell was gone, then the officials would go down and continue their work.

Picking up: The varieties of guava that are popular today have come about thanks to the influence of humans.

Male heads of households who smoked were often invited to go drinking with their friends. When they returned home drunk, late at night, the best thing to do was to chew some guava leaves to get rid of the smell on their breath. The longer they chewed the leaves, the less odour would remain. These are a few of the uses of the guava's leaves and branches.

A smell that goes beyond description

The original form of the guava fruit was favourite in Thailand, but there was a problem with it. It has to be eaten when it is just beginning to ripen, with the skin starting to turn from green to yellow. It took a long time, several weeks, to reach this point. If it was eaten while still green it was bitter, astringent and very hard, but when ripe it was soft and the red pulp inside was sweet.