While pepperoni and mushrooms are very popular on pizza in the United States, other countries around the world fashion their pizzas with regional and cultural favorites to cater to local tastes. Pizza Hut is slowly rolling out Malaysian-imported durians as a topping and as a crown crust throughout China.
If you’re not familiar with the durian, it's a large Southeast Asian fruit with brown spikes all over its rind. It's referred to as "the king of fruits," and although the fruit has a mildly sweet taste to it, durians are mostly known for thier pungent and intensely disgusting smell—one that’s described as everything from an old gym sock to sour milk and rotten meat. In fact, the fruit smells so bad that it’s banned on many public transit systems throughout Asia.
Pizza Hut started using the foul-smelling fruit in smaller provinces throughout China in 2015, and the fast food chain begins rolling out the topping to larger cities this year. "The durian pizza is a unique innovation that’s created a lot of buzz among our customers," a Pizza Hut spokesperson told Munchies. "The balanced fusion of durian, cheese, and pan dough has turned out to be a delicious, perfect match and combines the unique durian flavor with a much lighter smell."
This is certainly not the first time Pizza Hut used strange and unusual ingredients to top a pizza or stuff a crust. In 2014, Pizza Hut in Hong Kong baked salmon fish roe and cream cheese inside of a pizza crust, and their other Chinese offerings also include an avocado and prawn combo.