King of Fruits – Love It Or Hate It!

King of Fruits - Love It Or Hate It.

King of Fruits – Love It Or Hate It.

Touted as the King of Fruits in southeast Asia, eating Durians is certainly an acquired taste. To those who dislike durians, they find the smell offensive, describing it to be like gym socks, lol… This fruit is also officially banned from many public places (i.e. hotel rooms and public transportation). But to the durian devotees, durians are like good wine. Terms like allowing the fruit to “breathe” and whether the flesh has “finishing” are used. And like wine, you taste the different breeds from the mildest to the strongest in taste and texture. The mouthfeel can range from runny to smooth cream cheese-like and the tastes range from sweet, bitter and bittersweet (just like chocolates).

Since I am not a fan of durians although I do partake them, I am therefore not an expert in grading the breed or pedigree of durian, a fruit that’s typically in season from June to August. So I’ll let the pictures do the talking 🙂

Durian - King of Fruits in Asia.

Durian – King of Fruits in Asia.

Durians  are distinctive for its large size, strong smell, and formidable thorn-covered husks.

Durians are distinctive for its large size, strong smell, and formidable thorn-covered husks.

There are various breeds/pedigrees and they come into season at different period of the months between June to August so one can taste them as they "mature".

There are various breeds/pedigrees and they come into season at different period of the months between June to August so one can taste them as they “mature”.

Can you tell what breed of durian it is just by looking at its husk? This is MSW (Mao Shan Wang). They are currently in season now. Look at its thorns. They are faceted like diamonds or pyramids.

Can you tell what breed of durian it is just by looking at its husk? This is MSW (Mao Shan Wang). They are currently in season now. Look at its thorns. They are faceted like diamonds or pyramids.

Compare the thorns of this breed to MSW. There's no flat surface on the spikes.

Compare the thorns of this breed to MSW. There’s no flat surface on the spikes.

MSW is in season now. The best time to eat the different breeds/pedigrees of durians is when that typical breed is in season.

MSW is in season now. The best time to eat the different breeds/pedigrees of durians is when that typical breed is in season.

It is agreed there is no right way to choose a "good" durian because individual preferences are different in every region and taste also varies from person to person. A big, strong stem does indicate freshness of the fruit.

It is agreed there is no right way to choose a “good” durian because individual preferences are different in every region and taste also varies from person to person. A big, strong stem does indicate freshness of the fruit.

A durian lover would describe the distinct fragrance of the King of Fruits like a sommelier describe a good bottle of wine. Some terms used and to be considered are whether the durians need to "breathe" a little before consumption and if the pulps have "finishing" afterwards.

A durian lover would describe the distinct fragrance of the King of Fruits like a sommelier describe a good bottle of wine. Some terms used and to be considered are whether the durians need to “breathe” a little before consumption and if the pulps have “finishing” afterwards.

Some people find the smell of durian offensive. But if you are game enough to try eating durian (for the first time especially the westerners), you may want to choose durians that are relatively young where the flesh would be crisp in texture and very mild in flavor.

Some people find the smell of durian offensive. But if you are game enough to try eating durian (for the first time especially the westerners), you may want to choose durians that are relatively young where the flesh would be crisp in texture and very mild in flavor.

This is D24 XO and its season is on the way out so the taste is not as great as when it was in its prime. The flesh is slightly whitish and "runnier" compared to MSW. D24 is known for it's "bitter" flesh while MSW has yellow custardy flesh, rich and creamy bittersweet in taste.

This is D24 XO and its season is on the way out so the taste is not as great as when it was in its prime. The flesh is slightly whitish and “runnier” compared to MSW. D24 is known for it’s “bitter” flesh while MSW has yellow custardy flesh, rich and creamy bittersweet in taste.

MSW's seed is also very small and flat compared to other breeds . My durian guru friend, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/prickly.sensations" target="_blank">Prickly Sensations</a>, told me that the rich (oily) flesh of MSW separates easily from the seed.

MSW’s seed is also very small and flat compared to other breeds . My durian guru friend, Prickly Sensations, told me that the rich (oily) flesh of MSW separates easily from the seed.

Shucking durians can be a painful task! It takes skill to do it.

Shucking durians can be a painful task! It takes skill to do it.

This package is for my elder daughter, the only one in the family who enjoys durians. I got her MSW and hopes she likes it!

This package is for my elder daughter, the only one in the family who enjoys durians. I got her MSW and hopes she likes it!

The bespectacled man in black is Ah Seng, the "tau chew" (hands-on owner/boss/expert) of the stall we patronised that day. Can he convert me?

The bespectacled man in black is Ah Seng, the “tau chew” (hands-on owner/boss/expert) of the stall we patronised that day. Can he convert me?

Who knows the future? Since eating durian is an acquired taste, I just might become a convert!

Who knows the future? Since eating durian is an acquired taste, I just might become a convert!

Ah Seng Durian is located right in the middle of a wet market.

Ah Seng Durian is located right in the middle of a wet market.

Can you believe we had durians right after a heavy curry meal at Nana Homemade Curry? Well, it was trip that must be made since we had Prickly Sensations, our durian connoisseur with us. He made the phone call to Ah Seng, a durian vendor, who informed us that fresh durians had just arrived from Malaysia. Prickly Sensations told us that like a good wine, durians need time to breathe. It would taste better a few hours later (to let the latent heat dissipate) but we were all eager for the delectable treat. Even though I am not a fan of durian (lack of exposure), this educational trip did open my eyes and triggered an interest in the fruit. I bought MSW for Valerie and am eager to try a seed or two when she opens up the sealed package (when she comes home from work). The custardy yellow flesh looks very tempting indeed and I’m sure the taste will be creamy and rich.

Be forewarned that durian smell can linger for days. A trick (not verified) is to rinse your hands under the husk or seed of the durian with running tap water over it. There’s no known solution for burping 😉

8 Myths and Facts About the King of Fruits:
Contrary to popular belief, you will not have a big spike in your cholesterol level after eating a durian. In fact, this king of fruits has good monounsaturated fats that can actually lower your harmful cholesterol levels and moderate your high blood pressure. Read more here: http://bit.ly/15hVXVJ

Happy venturing 🙂

Ah Seng Durian
Blk 20, unit 01-197
Ghim Moh Market (in the centre of the wet market)
Singapore 270020.
Tel (Hp): +65 9465 6160

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Comments
18 Responses to “King of Fruits – Love It Or Hate It!”
  1. audreyyoung7 says:

    My parents LOVE durian, although you can only get them frozen here I think. I always found that they gave me a bit of a sore throat.

    • Sam Han says:

      Haha, yes durians are supposedly “yang” or heaty. Ever tried drinking salted water or eno after that? I wonder if it works but you had better not since you’re pregnant 😉

  2. Laura Lynn says:

    They certainly are a scary looking fruit. I wouldn’t want to drop one on my foot! You have me curious now to try one.

  3. Lignum Draco says:

    OK, not really a fan of durian. But you’re excused this time. 🙂

  4. Janet Rörschåch says:

    I’d never heard the bit about cholesterol being effected. Great, great piece, Sam.

    • Sam Han says:

      Hehehe, most popular Asian foods have myths attached to them especially those served during festivals. We are actually in the month of Hungry Ghost Festival but I’m not doing a piece on that (for fear of ghosts) 😀

  5. Sheryl says:

    I’d never heard of Durians until you mentioned them in a previous post. Thanks for doing a post on them. I enjoyed learning about the King of Fruits.

  6. Just like marmite, there’s no such grey area for durian
    fortunately, i and my entire family are the huge fans of it
    can’t wait it on season here Sam

  7. BeWithUs says:

    ヽ(´ー`)ノ Awwwwww…………..wwwww……wwww….ヽ(´ー`)ノ

  8. Love it, but hate you for tempting me!

  9. I wasn’t able to bring myself to try it.

  10. Vincent teow says:

    Love all this post n guess u r a big Durian Lover 😋

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