It's that time of the year again when durian or commonly known as 'The King of Fruits' stalls crowded the roadsides, all packed with mountains of durians. Yup, it’s durian frenzy here in Penang/Kedah and there are plenty of durian stalls selling this thorny fruit at every corner of the streets. Although I'm afraid of piling on the calories but when it comes to durians, I throw caution to the wind. Needless to say, I was looking forward to savour a good feast of this fabulous tasting fruits.
While some people consider the smell of durian as notoriously stinky and repulsive, I find this thorny fruit sinfully aromatic. Some can be dry, others creamy, like ice cream or chocolate in taste. I personally like smaller durians with bittersweet taste and the slightly fermented aroma of liquor to it. These are all good durians that should be highly appreciated to its fullest. Infact, the taste and quality of durians really differ depending on the origin and the degree of ripeness. The best place to get good durians is still Balik Pulau, Penang. I find durians from Thailand which are much bigger in size to be less desirable in terms of taste, smell and especially texture.
It was also interesting to note that there are many unique nicknames for different version of durian fruits that reflects its characteristics or even named after Jackie Chan's wife. As much as I love durians, it's difficult to be able to differentiate or remember the taste of one from the other. I couldn't even recall the name of my favourite.
These are some selection of branded durians. Prices are between RM12-13 per kilo in my neighbourhood. I normally spend about RM100-200 for these exotic spicky fruits every year.
Each species has a distinct taste and odour. For every pause for the next variety, it is best to rinse your mouth with plain water so that you can exquisitely acquire the exact taste for each cultivar and not having your taste buds to dance with undiscovered delight. My hubby loves the ones with golden or orange flesh which are popular in demand and secures the highest price, especially if it is accompanied with a great taste.
A small seed with milky, heavenly texture
A taste that's out of this world
Can you spot the worm hole on the husk? Now, don't be turned off by the sight of worm holes. It is a good indication that these durians are grown in pesticide- free environment.
As durians have warming properties, it's quite a common practise to pour water into the husk of the fruit after the pulp has been consumed and drink it.
An alternative method is to eat the durian in accompaniment with mangosteens, which is considered to have cooling properties.
It looks like unpeel cloves of garlic and whitish creamy against the fruit's purple backdrop. Incase you are wondering, the season for durians is typically from June to August, which coincides with mangosteens too.
Love it or loathe it, durians will stand out like no other fruit. For durian lovers, happy durian hunting! :D
First Commenter - Mei Teng