DURIAN lovers, rejoice! Your favourite season has graced us once more. From the much beloved Musang King, to the D13, durian connoisseurs can look forward to their annual hunt for durians.
Eating durian is an experience in itself. Once you have decided on a durian variety, it is important to pick a good durian. Don’t fret if you do not know how. We have some tips for both newbies and seasoned durian lovers.
How to pick a good durian
- The cross section of the stem should have a grassy green hue, and not brown and dry.
- Hold the fruit with two hands and shake/jerk it to see if you can “feel” the pips moving inside. If yes, the pips have detached from the locule wall (inner cavity).
- Your nose knows. Sniff deeply near the stem as fruits ripen from the bottom up. Sniff near the “seams” of the fruit (straight lines between the thorns) as the aroma will seep through here. Put your hand over the area you want to sniff, so that your nose safely rests between your thumb and forefinger.
- To recognise the durian you favour, memorise the shape of the fruits and the colour and pattern of the thorns.
- Thump the durian on the floor on four sides before you open it. The “shock” replicates the durian falling naturally to the ground and will “cause” the fruit to taste better.
Tasting notes: Durians from young trees (below 30 years) will have singular tastes, and tend to be one-dimensionally sweet. The fruit from old trees will have wrinkled skin on the pips and offer fuller, more complex flavours including bitter and alcoholic tastes.
If you end up buying more durians than you can consume, try incorporating them in your cooking or baking. It’s a great way to add some depth to your cooking while exploring new ways in which durian can be added to your everyday meals. These recipes were created by Chef Korn and Chef Debbie Teoh:
These recipes and article were first published in Flavours magazine.