Queen Of Fruits At Sands Fruit Festival 2014

This July I went to Macau twice (so expect more Macau food in upcoming posts) and upon my return, Paul invited me, of all people, to an event yesterday, organised by Marina Bay Sands, where durians take the centre stage in this fruit feast!

Paul is a long time family friend and I do not know if he knew I am not a fan of durians but he certainly has not read my post “King of Fruits!”

“Will there be other fruits?” the rude me queried him instead of thanking and that’s not the end… “Can I take photos?”

“Yes and yes!” he was patient and kind in his reply.

“Okay, you’ll be picking me up?” another insolent shot!

“Yes, I will. After my afternoon shoot so get ready by 6.45pm”.

Sweet!

Sands Fruit Festival

Judging from the length of queue of people waiting to get in to have their unlimited free flow durian feast at S$88 nett per pax, or a family of four at S$208 nett, you’ll understand why durian is crowned king of fruits in southeast Asia!

Sands Fruit Festival

Before I jump into introducing the queen of fruits, let me introduce you to the other tropical fruits Sands offered on the buffet line…
Longan 龙眼 (“Dragon Eye”) is another native to southeast Asia, better known tropical members of the soapberry family.
It is known as 桂圆 (gui yuan) in dried form, for use in Asian snacks and desserts.

Sands Fruit Festival

Rambutan is native to Indonesia and Malaysia.
It is therefore not surprising that the name ‘rambutan’ is derived from the Malay language word for rambut or “hair”, a reference to the aplenty hairy protuberances of the fruit, together with the noun-building suffix -an.

Sands Fruit Festival

Paul relishing the rambutan…
While I reminisced the good old days when I used to eat lots of it during school holidays – my paternal grandma had a rambutan tree in her garden.

Sands Fruit Festival

Young Coconut Drink is one of the most important tropical fruits because of its potassium and mineral rich water.
There’s also bottled water available.

Sands Fruit Festival

Desserts.

Sands Fruit Festival

Desserts like Durian Pudding (left) and Puree (chilled) were served of course!
Mini Durian Puffs were also baked but I preferred those from Goodwood Park Hotel (had them donkey years ago).

Sands Fruit Festival

Pure chilled durian pulp!

King of Fruits - Love It Or Hate It.

King of Fruits – Love It Or Hate It.
The shape of a durian ranges from oval to round and the colour of its husk green to brown.
Depending on the species, its flesh colour spans from off white to deep mustard.
The tastes can be runny to rich creamy, and more or less fibrous in texture.

Singaporeans love to eat and when it comes to fruits, durian has an especially significant history in our food culture!

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 🙂 – Semi Han in “King of Fruits – Love It Or Hate It!

Sands Fruit Festival

Over a 2-day event held on 21 and 22 July at the Event Plaza, Sands brought in rare and top of the line durio grade such as Mao Shan Wang (MSW).

Sands Fruit Festival

Mao Shan Wang (MSW) has creamy bittersweet rich custardy flesh.
MSW has yellow custardy flesh and creamy bittersweet in taste. The rich (oily) flesh of MSW separates easily from the seed.
It is in season now.
Btw, this is one plate and we had 4 eventually!

Sands Fruit Festival

Seeds of a Golden Phoenix durian are much smaller than the other varieties and there tends to have thicker less fibrous flesh but we had MSW.

Sands Fruit Festival

Paul was enjoying the MSW so much so that I gave up and joined him, breaking 25 years of “durio-celibacy”, lol…

Sands Fruit Festival

Okay, let’s not be too hasty!
I started with the mini durian puff first and when ready, finally took the plunge into the fruit itself.

Often you will find mangosteens along side durians during the latter’s season – and if durian is the king of fruits, then surely the mangosteen takes the title of Queen of Fruits!

Mangosteen is a subtle delicacy, indeed! Its flesh bears an exceptionally mild aroma. It has been described to having chemical constituents of fragrant fruits with main volatile components such as caramel, grass and butter notes as part of the mangosteen fragrance.

Sands Fruit Festival

Mangosteens.
According to Paul, these mangosteens were the small variety from Taiwan and they were super sweet.
The purplish sap (when breaking the fruit) can stain clothing so do be careful whenever you eat them.

山竹 (pronounced as “shan zhu” in Madarin) or Mangosteen in English is not easily available in most western countries and although they are available in Australia, they are still rare in the produce sections of grocery stores and especially so in Europe and North America. Up until 2007, when fresh mangosteens were introduced (before that they were imported as dried or frozen) and sold at up to US$45 per pound in speciality produce stores in New York City. Some American gourmet restaurants also served the flesh segments as an exotic delicacy dessert!

There is a legend about Queen Victoria offering a reward of 100 pounds sterling to anyone who could deliver to her the fresh fruit. Although this legend can be traced to a 1930 publication by the fruit explorer, David Fairchild, it is not substantiated by any known historical document, yet is probably responsible for the uncommon designation of mangosteen as the “Queen of Fruit”. – Wikipedia

Sands Fruit Festival

Did you know that the number of fruit segments corresponds exactly with the number of stigma lobes on the exterior apex?

Sands Fruit Festival

Likewise, a higher number of fleshy segments also corresponds with the fewest seeds.
The circle of wedge-shaped segments contains between 4 to 8, and rarely 9 pieces.
Paul said these were imported from Taiwan.
They were very sweet and nothing like those I had tasted before.

So I finally took the plunge and had me some undulated durians. In fact, we had 4 plates shared between the 2 of us. Paul was shocked when I requested him to go for the 3rd plate citing the queue was shorter – we queued for every plate so that others do not have to wait long, the boys cracking the formidable husks were up to their necks dishing out the seeds.

With eyes almost popping out, Paul looked at me for confirmation, “You asking me to get more??? I thought you don’t eat lu lian?” (Singlish!)

When he returned with a fresh loot, I sheepishly asked, “Will I get zits from eating too much durians?”

Pointing to the mangosteens on the table in front of me, he replied that mangosteen counters the heatiness properties of durians and that is why they always come together. He further offered in Hokkien, “zit eh jiak liao eh san eh” meaning “eating this will slim you down”.

“Really???” Wow! I was ecstatic!

“Man goes thin”…

Lame!

I had so much durian last night, I thought I was going to puke (literally, but still happy to have partaken). A few hours later and with some consideration as I was drafting this post, the best “dish” for me, was the dainty Queen Of Fruits At Sands Fruit Festival 2014!

Durian lovers at Sands Fruit Festival 2014.

Durian lovers at Sands Fruit Festival 2014.

25th July – 27th July 2014. 3 days of endless feasting of Mao Shan Wang, tropical fruits like Longan, Coconuts, Rambutan and Mangosteens. The invited guests (approx. 6000 pax over 3 days) also had good time savouring our Signature Durian Desserts like Durian Puffs, Durian Pudding and Mao Shan Wang Durian Ice Cream.

Total Quantity consumed over 3 days :-
Mao Shan Wang – 15 000kg
Coconuts – 9000 pcs
Mangosteens – 2000kg
Rambutan – 500 kg
Longan – 1200kg
Durian Puffs – 20000 pcs
Durian Pudding – 1500 cup
Mao Shan Wang Ice Cream – 6000 cups.

Information taken from 717 Trading’s Facebook page who supplied the fruits in this event.

Sands Fruit Festival

Did you partake in this year’s 2-day extravaganza at the inaugural Sands Fruit Festival ?

Happy venturing 🙂

717 Trading
Address: 22 Yio Chu Kang,
Highland Centre.
Singapore 545535.

Tel: (+65) 6287 7717
To save the trouble, call to find out if there’s any good durians before heading down.

Click here on how to tell MSW apart from other durio breeds King of Fruits – Love It or Hate It!

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Comments
2 Responses to “Queen Of Fruits At Sands Fruit Festival 2014”
  1. Lignum Draco says:

    I guess you’re a convert now to durians. I don’t think i could be at that festival for long before needing fresh air. 🙂

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