Durian Pizza Picks Up Where Anchovies Leave Off

Shanghai's Blue & Brown restaurant doesn't just sell pizza, they smell it as well! The Shanghai eatery's signature dish, Durian Pizza, is an offbeat treat that aims to please every sense starting with the sense of smell. Located at 450 Huichuan Road in Shanghai's Zhongshan Park area, Blue & Brown was founded in September of 2012 by several alumni of the Raffles Design Institute in Singapore.

The owners originally experienced the unique taste (and powerful aroma) of the so-called “king of fruits” while performing their studies, and it's likely they also learned of the many restrictions Singapore authorities have placed on the fruit due to its oft-overpowering scent.

China, on the other hand, has no such restrictions and even better, durian has acquired a reputation as an exotic luxury item. “They know that durian is a tonic and the king of fruits,” explains Ma Yanmei, who supplies imported durian to Chinese markets and restaurants, “so quite a large number of people love to eat it. Those who can't take it at first would at least try and then grow to accept it.”

One unusual yet original way to try durian is on pizza, and the decidedly non-Italian pie perfected by Blue & Brown's chefs seems to have hit the spot with customers. According to Blue & Brown's owner, Dai Ge, an average of 70 durian pizzas are sold each day.

“Durian and pizza are originally unrelated,” stated one obviously impressed customer, “but this is quite wonderful.” It isn't even necessary to like durian to enjoy Blue & Brown's pungent pie. “There's a thick layer of cheese on top which masks the strong taste of the durian,” said another customer to justify his purchase.

Durian Pizza at Shanghai, China's Blue & Brown restaurant cafeDurian Pizza at Shanghai, China's Blue & Brown restaurant cafe

Priced at 55RMB (about $8.50) for an irregularly-shaped pie offering 6 to 8 slices of various sizes, Blue & Brown's durian pizza features previously-frozen durian imported from Thailand, cheese, and a “secret sauce” that's NOT tomato-based. Eat at your own risk and BYOC... the “C” stands for clothespins. (via Shanghaiist, Channel News Asia, and Global Times)