The Real Difference Between Durian And Jackfruit

Fruits are said to be nature's candy. Depending on the fruit, you can use it for either savory or sweet purposes. While tomatoes are great for things like Caprese salads, blueberries and strawberries are often used in smoothies and açai bowls. According to Fruitsinfo, there are over 2,000 types of known fruits around the world. You'll find things like currants and pears in Europe, raspberries and papayas in the Americas, and jackfruit and durian in Asia (via Northern Arizona University and Gear Trench). 

While jackfruit and durian may appear similar, there are stark differences that set them apart from one another. Gear Trench notes that there is much confusion about both for folks who didn't grow up eating them. One similarity between the two is that they both provide the body with distinct health benefits. But, what exactly are the differences between the two? Can they be used interchangeably?

Despite similar appearances, jackfruit and durian belong to different fruit families

Foodsguy notes that jackfruit is known to be a tropical fruit that is a relative of fruits like figs, mulberries, and breadfruit. Native to India and Southeast Asia, it grows on a tree and has a spiked exterior but possesses a soft interior, per Gear Trench. The reason most folks are so confused when it comes to durian is because, according to Gear Trench, durian has a similarly spiky exterior. 

Gardening Channel explains that while jackfruit is more of an oval shape, durian is much rounder. The publication also notes that the inside of each fruit is vastly different. Jackfruit has a fleshy inside that can be either pink, red, white, or a butter-like yellow. Durian is said to have flesh that looks more like that of a banana. In addition, Gardening Channel points out that while jackfruit is sweet (tasting like a Juicy Fruit gum when ripe), durian is said to possess a simultaneously sweet and savory profile.