Friday, May 13, 2011

Durian @ Tanjong Katong

A few of us have this sudden craving for durian and met up for a late night treat. Initially we wanted to try a stall recommended by a friend, but when we reached that place, the owner told us that all their durians were sold out. We were so disappointed leh…

So we did the most natural thing when a craving is not fulfilled. We find the next possible place within the vicinity and ordered whatever we can find.

Look at how excited Tristan was. He only posed for the photos, I was the one who opened most of the fruit.

Some facts of the fruit:

Durian fruit contains a high amount of sugar, vitamin C, potassium, and is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Which is why some people eat durian during meal times, but beware that you will be consuming too much sugar or fats if that is not what you want.

Know your durian:

Country of origin: Thailand 

Mon Thong (meaning "golden pillow"): Fleshiest of all durian varieties with a mild taste. A good starter for those new to the durian business, its pale-coloured flesh makes it less repugnant than the fiery reds and oranges on some of the crossbred varieties. The Mon Thong is one of the most popular varieties because it can be harvested weeks before ripening, making it easy to transport to regional countries.

Chan Nee (meaning "gibbon"): Less fleshy than the Mon Thong, it also has a slightly more pungent taste and smell than its Thai counterpart.

Ganja: The name has a slight reference to a drug-induced haze, but what Ganja durians are capable of doing is only overpowering you with its extremely sweet flesh. You'll get a sugar high from its perky yellow flesh-definitely a legitimate way to enjoy feeling good.

Gan Ja

Country of origin: Malaysia

D11: A crowd-pleaser, this is one of the less pungent varieties around. Its smooth and creamy flesh is accompanied with a sweet aftertaste. 

D24: Considered the "rich man's durian" for its high price, it is characterised by its bittersweet taste and signature dark yellow flesh. With small seeds and a succulent yield, you won't mind paying more for this since you'll be getting a lot in return!


XO: The name says it all. The alcoholic aftertaste lingers longer than its bitter taste. If you're a fan of the sweeter variety, give this a miss. This is one of the most expensive varieties available.

Hong Xia (meaning "red prawn"): Said to resemble the colour of a cooked prawn, this one's for those who love a softer texture. The reddish-orangey thin flesh is aromatic and hits you even before you open the husk.

red prawn durian

Hor Lor (meaning "water gourd"): Its definitive shape opens up to reveal soft flesh. But bite into it and you'll find it to be quite dry and bitter. A variety better left to the experienced durian lover, it's also accompanied by a very pungent smell. 

Mao Shan Wang (meaning "mountain cat king"): Considered the grandmaster of durian varieties, its flesh is firm on the outside but creamy on the inside. The bitter taste at the beginning gives way to a sweet ending. One of the most satisfying, it has the main taste characteristics of all the other varieties.

How to choose your durian:

  1. Look at the tip, if it is too dry means it is no longer fresh. A little dry is okay.
  2. Look at the bottom, if it is crack it may be over-ripe or not so fresh. But it still can be delicious.
  3. Smell the durian, if there is a strong smell, it is most likely good. If there is no smell, it is probably not ripe.
  4. Use your fingernails to scratch the durian, if it sounds hollow it is likely to be a good one.
  5. Put the durian close to your ear, shake it and listen carefully, if there is a 'moving' sound, it is likely to be good.
  6. Look for holes around the durian, if there is tiny hole somewhere, there is likely to be a worm (larva of an insect) that has burrow into it.
  7. Yes, there is actually a 7th step, but it's not going to be useful. If you have the chance to open the durian, open it and taste it.

Ready for Durian Fiesta?

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