Growing up, I never really understood why my parents liked to eat durian. The stench always filled the entire room and used to remind me of sweaty gym socks. On my most recent trip to Thailand this summer, however, I finally learned how to love this glorious fruit and to eat it in its most pure state. So to share the love, let me tell you how to eat durian for all of you who have never tried this fruit.

1. Durian Chips

Durian chips are my all-time favorite snack. They are made with unripe durians, so they're odorless and taste almost exactly like potato chips. In fact, one of my family friends who profusely detested the fruit once ate an entire bowl full of these chips by accident. Needless to say, I got him to convert.

#SpoonTip: You will get funny looks from airport security agents scanning your carry-on luggage and finding that it's just full of chips.

2. Durian Breads

To be honest, I chuckled when my friend proudly proclaimed that he tried durian for the first time in Singapore. Granted, it was whipped in a custard and filled inside a flaky bread. But hey, baby steps. Durian-infused custard is a popular filling for buns and for breads, which means that the sugar and the dough are there to support you through your durian journey.

#SpoonTip: If you have a bread maker and you were to mix in some fresh durian, it just tastes like normal bread. Verified by my durian ambivalent aunt. 

3. Durian Desserts

There's an entire dessert cafe in Thailand dedicated to durians called After You Durian. Every dish includes the yellow fruit and you can find creative recipes like Durian Kakigori (a Japanese shaved ice), Durian Sticky Rice Honey Toast, and Durian Frappe.

With these durian desserts, the flavors are still mild enough that you can get an essence of the exotic treat but still within a very familiar and comfortable territory.

4. Frozen Durian

My grandmother's guilty pleasure on a hot summer day is a Tupperware full of frozen durian. The fruit melts in your mouth like a luscious ice cream, and because its frozen the smell is barely there. If you've made it to this point, you're on your way to becoming a durian enthusiast.

#SpoonTip: If you're too afraid to crack open a fresh one and freeze them yourself, Dee's Frozen Fruits puts the fruit on a stick and sell them in individual packs at Siam Paragon in Thailand.

5. Fresh Durian

I thought getting my wisdom teeth out in Thailand would have been the worst thing to happen to me, but it gave me an excuse to indulge in this creamy goodness. Durian in its purest form is custardy, wonderful, and nowhere near as pungent as it seems. 

One of my besties always tells me that obstacles are like band-aids. You can peel slowly or rip it off but either way, you're going to get over it. So rip off your band-aid, newbies. Go all in now that you know how to eat durian in its most authentic form. After all, it's good for you too