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Durian


Schielke
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Hi! I'm new to the forum.

It's indeed interesting to read how foreigners describe durian. (Not only durians, in fact I love reading travelogues and 'see' Malaysia from a foreign point of view.)

Anyways, AzRael and Shiemie, I think WoodApples are called Buah Belinjau. And you're right, they're not commercially cultivated.

And Buah Nipah is correct, not buah Atap.

Pan - the best Malaysian durians (heck, the best durians) are not found in the East Coast of Malaysia but rather the west cost, the best coming from Perak and Johor (Segamat & Pontian) although you can get some good ones from Penang too.

I love durians. I'm dubbed 'Hantu Durian' by my family coz I can eat quite a few fruits in one sitting. But I only eat the good ones. And this is relative coz some people prefer the milder smelling and tougher flesh ones like the Thai durians. Some durians have very 'watery' flesh. I prefer mine to be like a very, very thick and rich custard, sweet but a tad bitterish taste. And they're usually a rich deep yellow (sometimes a hinge of red tint) color called Durian Tembaga (Tembaga=Copper). Or the D24 specie. Yumm! Yumm! Can't wait for the durian season again.

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FYI for all who don't speak Malay: "Hantu" = "ghost."

Welcome aboard, Kew!

Do they have red durian in Perak and Johor?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I wouldn't count on your getting really good durian in France, Lucy, though there's no harm in trying. But like many other fruits, durian is best when eaten within a day after it's been felled from the tree.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Is canned or frozen durian tolerable enough to allow one to appreciate its characteristics? I haven't tasted it yet, thus I'm reserving judgement but want to hear from those who do appreciate it. Just had dinner at my local Viet restaurant tonight - they have a durian shake on the menu as well as a sticky rice, sweet cream and durian dessert. Might one of those items be worth trying?

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Is  canned or frozen durian  tolerable enough to allow one to appreciate its characteristics?

For my part, I couldn't tell you. I've never tried it and wouldn't. I'll just wait until the next time I go back to Malaysia, whenever that is, and have fresh durian there if it's in season and offered to me.

Also, oddly enough, my parents love durian but don't like any sweets made with durian. Similarly, I like peppermint in leaf form but don't like anything that's otherwise peppermint-flavored.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I love durians although I haven't get the chance to savour it for almost a year while I'm away from my origin country, Indonesia. Durians are pretty abundant in my country and I would say that my dad is an expert at it. He could crack open a durian with his power and help of a large knife. :wink: Durians are a family treat, we always eat it when we're gathering in the countryside. :biggrin:

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Is  canned or frozen durian  tolerable enough to allow one to appreciate its characteristics?

Durian freezes pretty well so I'd go for the frozen one between the choice of canned or frozen. Frozen durian that are exported are usually Thai durians and like Kew says, they are considerably less fragrant / stinky (depending on which camp you're in :biggrin:) than Malaysian durians.

I am not a big fan but the rest of the family is. We usually freeze any leftover durian in an air-tight container and they'll pick at it whenever the craving strikes.

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I love durians although I haven't get the chance to savour it for almost a year while I'm away from my origin country, Indonesia. Durians are pretty abundant in my country and I would say that my dad is an expert at it. He could crack open a durian with his power and help of a large knife. :wink:

No parang (machete)? Your father is really strong! :laugh:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Pan

No parang needed if you place the knife (we use a cleaver) at the "eye" of the durian (the bottom bit at the other end from the stem). My mum (who's 70) is usually the durian 'opener' at home. Have seen people opening 'em with a screwdriver too. I only know all of this theoretically, of course :laugh:.

That said we mainly get them pre-opened and packed in plastic containers / cling-wrapped on a styrofoam tray nowadays.

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Oh maaan! I really must learn how to do the multiple quotes!

Anyways ...

Pan - thanks for the welcome. I am enjoying eGullet so far (have abandoned all the other forums! :biggrin: ) Hantu is ghost, but I'm not a durian ghost ghost literally ... hmph ... what is the appropriate translation. A Durian Nut, perhaps? I think Durian Tembaga is getting scarce. They are all busy cultivating D24s, D22s, D9s and the likes. Have you ever heard of Durian Kacapuri? Nobody remembers them anymore :sad: I only had it a couple of times when I was about 7 or 8. They are so rich and tasty, virtually seedless, reddish tint and even have the durians growing in the middle (the 'empuluh' - the core?) instead of just in the pods. I think this could be a specie from Indonesia? Maybe snowcrab know something? And a Hantu Durian I may be, but like your parents I don't like other durian concoctions. My DH would eat fresh durians drenched in fresh santan (thick coconut milk) with rice. Yikes! :blink: And I run away from tempoyak = fermented durian. Double yikes!!! DH can only eat this at his parents' or elsewhere, it's not allowed to enter our home. :raz:

phaelon56 - like Shewie said, durian can be freezed. But only the more robust ones. The more 'watery' it is, the least likely you can freeze it successfully. I suspect all exported durians are of the less flavorful/less aromatic Thai species. I have not seen canned durians though. I do like chilled durians. I have seen dried/vacuum freezed durians though. vacuum freezed durians from thailand

bleudauvergne - nothing beats fresh durian and I mean the ones that just a minute ago felled from the tree. My grandpa (God bless his soul) used to have an orchard (many types of fruits). And me, being his favorite grandaughter :raz: always get the best ones, especially what they call 'durian sulung' ie the first fruit from a tree. Come on over for a visit and I'll treat you to durians.

And oh, I open my durian using the 50cents kitchen knife. Although DH's long-lost swiss army knife did a better job. No parang-lah, but want to eat durians anyways!

Shewie - Jusco sells fresh good quality D24 durians (when in season) and I usually wait until the last moments before buying. Cheap, cheap like RM20 for 3 packets 20-30 minutes to closing time (usual price RM20 per packet). I linger around and once the price goes down, I grab 'em. But still, nothing beats the good ole durian kampung by the road-side! Do you remember the times when D24 was a novelty? I remember paying RM60 for one fruit! But those D24s sure taste a lot better than what we get now.

Edited by kew (log)
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Anyone see the article on "Extreme Eating" in the May 17 issue of New York Magazine- there's a reference to durian ice cream from the Spice Market on W. 13th St. Quote: "The refreshing frozen dessert derived from the spiky Asian fruit tastes somewhere between almond and coconut ice cream. But to get to the taste you must get past the smell, a heady aroma reminiscent of vanilla, kerosene and baby spit-up"

Mark A. Bauman

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If you are an expatriate or new visitor to this fruit, I would recommend eating durian somewhere nice to initiate the senses. If I remember correctly, the Goodwood Park Hotel does some really lovely cakes and cream puffs (durian of course) during the season, as does the Shangri-La cafe. Lucky you!

It's a little like cheese, ain't it? An acquired taste. -AL

Edited by Ai Leen (log)

Fresh from London. Eating as always.

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It's a little like cheese, ain't it? An acquired taste. -AL

Especially Blue Cheese!!!!

Not only it smells like kain buruk sebulan tak basuh, but to actually nampak the blue mold! :shock::raz:

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Translation:

kain buruk sebulan tak basuh=bad cloth that hasn't been washed for a month

nampak=see

My bad - I forgot to do the English version. Thank you Pan. If only there's a Pan for every time that there's a French or other foreign term being used ........

Anyways, kain buruk is rag. Buruk could mean bad too but here it means old.

Btw, I just had some durians last nite. Not so good ones though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Check it out:

News, Reviews & Articles on Durian Food

Yes, durian has a news browser all its own. :raz:

But there's an article that's too new to be there yet:

Durian feast ends in death for Thai man

AN elderly Thai man died after overindulging in durian, police said yesterday, becoming the second person to die in the kingdom this month from consuming the so-called king of fruit.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Durian season is upon us again!!! :D

My dad just brought back a whole sack of wonderful uncloned kampung durians from a private orchard. Personally, I am not much of a fan of D24, D22 etc. due to their uniform taste. I prefer durian kampung or durian hutans, which are much more exciting IMHO!

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durian...

hard to get it by irate landlords here

i once had to get the carpet cleaned in my apartment when i moved out - because the smell of durian had seeped in.

nowadays i buy it in chinatown, head straight for a park and eat it there and then.

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Another news story on durians:

A potent mix it is not, when durians and alcohol are consumed together, say medical experts and the National Poison Centre.

But they advise against consuming too much durians, as theoretically fermentation and gaseous products produce vomit, which blocks an individual’s air passage, causing death.

Read the rest of the story from The Star Online, a Malaysian newspaper.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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From my friend "Sling" in Singapore...

"It is has been reported here today (June 1st) that an elderly Thai man has collapsed and died from eating too much durian!

Thavin Chaiya,68, was enjoying durian with his friends at an outdoor fruit market in Chaing Mai, Thailand (yes, Tony did a show there...the "road-side sausage addict"), when he fell to the floor in convulsions, presumably from eating "too much" of the stinky fruit.

(Me thinks he was done in by the fumes...)

Apparently, this is the second such death in Thailand this month due to durian overdose."

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Durians are really in season now - and they're CHEAP!

They are sold at 20 sen (US 5.3cents) per kilo wholesale. No wonder the ones at the night markets are selling at RM10 per basket for the kampung durians!

:wub:

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We're positively deluged with durians this season. I've had relatives giving me almost everyday. So I had to do something...here's a durian cake modified from Ludja's banana layer cake (in the banana cake thread). I hope I didn't do anything sacrilegious or something! Used one cup of durian for the cake and another 1 1/2 cups of durian cooked into a custard (with egg yolks) then mixed with whipped cream for the frosting/filling.

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Believe it or not, I found some durians at a local Stop and Shop (large North East grocery store chain, like Albertsons or Safeway) here in Poughkeepsie, NY. First time I've seen durian sold in a supermarket chain, outside of Asia.

The durians were cracked and didn't look particularly attractive. On the stem, there was a label attached with a website address, presumably of the distributor, which I cannot now remember.

I'm guessing the durian is imported from Thailand, because it has almost no aroma (yes, I call it that) at all. Being born and having spent my childhood in Malaysia myself, I am used to durians with intense aromas and flavor. Much of the Thai fruit I've encountered have not matched the native Malaysian varieties in the intensity of flavor. Not to say there aren't any good Thai durians, but I've not eaten any myself.

Because of the lack of the characteristic durian smell, and because of the cracks in the shell, which expose the pulpy fruit inside to bacteria among other things, I didn't make the purchase. When I placed my nose against them, I could smell a combination of "green" and mineral smells that I find uncharacteristic and to my nose, unpleasant.

I've bought durians from NYC chinatown that were similarly muted in aroma, but tasted pretty decent. I wonder if there's some genetic engineering or modification happening in the durian world to make the fruit less "smelly" to those unaccustomed to it?

Incidentally, when I worked in Malaysia a number of years ago in a Dutch company, a group of us, including a dutchman, went out to a durian "feast". In the small town we were in, a popular way to enjoy durian was to "dine" at the night markets where rows of stalls (nothing more than a makeshift tent cover with a large pile of durian in one corner) sold the fruit, some from the back of a lorry or truck. So after we selected a stall, pulled up some wooden crates to sit on, we were ready to eat some fruit.

Note that picking out a good durian is a vitally important task, something that requires a great deal of skill and knowledge, and an equal amount of supernatural abilities, or very good luck. It is not something you entrust to just anyone. So with this in mind, we engaged the services of the durian "sommelier", who also happened to be the hawker, and asked him to make the selections. He will "uncork" the durian for you too, which can sometimes prove difficult to the uninitiated. It's not easy to contend with all those thorns to get to the fruit.

So for hours we sat on wooden crates taking fat chunks of the sweet creamy pulp from split-open sections of durians on the ground, and stuffing our faces with them. I can't think of a better way to enjoy the fruit.

The dutchman, eating durian for the first time, could not get enough of it. To paraphrase his words, "It smells really bad at first, but after you start eating it, you can no longer smell it. When I got back to my house though, my wife wouldn't let me in the door."

From the recent reports about the abundance of durians in Malaysia, I sure wish I were there now.

Edited by wongste (log)
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