Durian + Booze = Toxic Recipe

Durian, a large, thorn-covered fruit widely consumed in Asia, has always been a bit dangerous, mostly to the olfactory senses: The fruit smells terrible. And according to myths, eating durian with alcohol can be fatal. But recently Japanese researchers have discovered that the myth may be grounded in truth. John Maninang and Hiroshi Gemma of the University of Tsukuba in Japan have determined that the high sulfur content of durian inhibits the body's ability to process alcohol, which can lead to alcohol poisoning. Aldehyde dehydrogenase, the enzyme needed to clear toxic breakdown products, cannot be produced when durian is in the system, which can lead to massive toxicity. The fruit’s odor has been variously described as smelling of rot, vomit, or skunk. “Now we know that it may smell of danger too,” says Gemma.