April 19, 2024

Durian – The King of Fruit

For many years I have been curious about the durian fruit. I saw them for sale at Super G on Independence in Charlotte but because of the size and price I was not brave enough to buy one. They are one odd fruit.

We first saw these at the fruit stand across the street back in August which is the Malaysian peak season and now as it gets close to the holiday season the supply is back but imported from a different part of Asia. This batch is smaller but they still are about the size and shape of a rugby ball and the smaller ones weigh in at about 2.5 pounds and sell for S$18/kilo.

These things sell out quickly with people buying 4 or 5 at once. They are mostly used in baking and are obviously very popular.

The spikes are wicked and they use a cleaver and heavy gloves to open them.

Yesterday my daughter and grandson decided to take the plunge and buy one. Brave souls! The smell is distinctive and this is being kind. In fact there are signs on buses and the metro saying no durians allowed on board.

The taste and texture are also distinctive. It’s kind of custard-like and not very strong flavored – if you can get past the smell. All in all, we were brave, we tried it, we survived, and now we don’t have to try it again. Kind of liberating in a way.

We walked back over to the fruit market this morning and watched a family by $100+ worth of durian. They offered us a sample, and here’s proof:

There is another local fruit called jackfruit that looks similar but not as spiky. This is one we found growing along the road in Bintan last month.

One day while eating lunch in a hawker center we saw a guy at the next table eating a really odd looking fruit. Ray asked him what it was. He didn’t know the English name but he did give us several pieces to try. He said pop out the large nut inside and eat it, not the yellow flesh around it.

The nut was hard but tasty. When we looked it up later we found out it was jackfruit and half the people eat the nut and half eat the flesh. Go figure. Might need to try this again.