Once an exotic rarity in Western supermarkets, durian is now readily available at most North American fruit vendors. This fruit has a thick, spiny skin and a distinctive aroma. It is this smell that is the key to determining if a durian is ripe or not. If you need to ripen a durian fruit quickly, there is a relatively easy way to do it.
Choose a type of durian with a short shelf life. The Chanee durian matures naturally only two days after harvest and is easier to ripen than a Mon Tong, which can take almost a week to ripen naturally.
Inspect your durian for ripeness using your sense of smell. Press the durian against your nose. The strength of the odor indicates the level of ripeness. No odor at all means the fruit is very unripe and will take more of an effort to ripen in 24 hours.
Store your durian in a warm place in an airtight container. Higher levels of heat and carbon dioxide will hasten the durian's ripening process. Your may not need a full day depending on the type of durian and its existing level of ripeness.
Do not cut your fruit in an attempt to ripen the durian. This can cause part of the fruit to ripen or even go bad before the rest of the fruit is edible.
Use your ripened durian as soon as possible. This fruit has a very distinctive odor that is offensive to some and becomes more pronounced the more ripe it is.
Another indication of ripeness is the toughness of the durian's skin. The more difficult it is to peel, the less ripe it is. Store durian at 59 degrees Fahrenheit to extend the durian's shelf life once it ripens.
Local legends in Thailand claim that the best and easiest way to ripen a durian fruit is to roll it in earth and leaves and feed it to a hungry elephant. The fruit will ripen quickly as it passes through the acids of the elephant`s digestive tract and be extra succulent. If you happen to have an elephant, then try this method a your own risk.