Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Red fleshed “wild” durians


Photographed these durians (Durio sp.) in a farmers’ market, Sarawak. An Iban lady was selling them for RM15 per pile of 7-8 fruits. Each fruit is quite small, about the size of a large grapefruit (imagine one with sharp thorns). I put “wild” in the title with inverted commas because I didn’t ask if they’re from a farm (cultivated) or truly wild from the jungle (collected).

Though much more expensive than “regular” durians which were plentiful and cheap (going for RM10 for 4 small to medium sized fruits but seemed like nobody was buying them!), they were snapped up within an hour. The seller opened one up for one of her buyers and the flesh was red in colour. Some people really like them, they’re a relatively rare find compared to “regular” durians; the thin flesh is sweet and the taste and smell much less overwhelming (sometimes they’re without any smell). 

Personally, I’m not a fan of durian (all varieties) as I don’t like the taste and can’t stand the smell (though freshly dropped fruits do smell nice, it’s when they’ve been kept longer than a day or two that they start to stink!), BUT I will make exceptions for fruits from a few select trees in my kampung. Those highly prized trees produce superb tasting durians, so delicious and first grade that even I, someone who leaves the room when a durian is opened, water in the mouth thinking about the yummy, creamy, oh-so-good fruits! :)


vinesandspines said...

i need to try more types of durian. i have no idea what kind it was i had in the philippines but it wasnt bad at all. had an almost caramel-like flavor in it. im curious about champedek too. i know a guy here who spent alot of time in southeast asia (he runs our fruit and spice park) and he loves durian but will run from a champedek which he really does not like. he said champedek to him tasted like gasoline. ive never had champedek myself. only cheena (champedek x jackfruit) and it mostly just tasted like jackfruit except it was a little slimier in texture and the pieces came out like a champedek.

sarawaklens said...

@Chris, funny your friend should say that about cempedak. I think tarap smells like kerosene! But just a week or two ago I bought one and was surprised to find myself liking it! It didn't smell as strong as the ones I've come across before and the flesh was nice and thick. I also bought another artocarpus called pedalai, thin flesh and not as nice as that one tarap I bought.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Would really like to try the red durians...I have photographed some red flowers in the last few months in Sibu and in Brunei...just to enlarge my collections of photos of all things Borneo...

sarawaklens said...

@Sarawakiana, wow, I can't believe you've never tried red durians (since you travel a lot throughout Sarawak)!

vinesandspines said...

ahhh! pedalai. ive wanted to try that for some time. there is a tree in a greenhouse here of it but it will never fruit here. (id be very surprised if it did). i have a few seedlings. ive seen trees in puerto rico and the source of my seeds was hawaii. but even the person who got me the seeds from hawaii said hes never tasted it because he only finds the fruit on the ground after it has fallen and rotted because its such a tall tree.

i like tarap (marang). very very sweet though. didnt smell like kerosene to me. i think it all depends on how ripe it is. maybe if its too ripe its unpalatable.

the durian i'm trying to find is the red one on the outside.

"Lahung (Indonesian - East Kalimantan) (Durio dulcis Becc.) (Indigenous to Borneo) Rare!"

supposedly it occasionally shows up at miri market.

from my friends email a few years back:

"It's was january 8, 2006 ten o'clock in the morning, a pick up arrived to the Miri Market with 5 durio dulcis in its back. I wanted to buy all of them but couldn't bear no more than three so I went to a place to eat one,then I went back to the market twenty minutes later but I didn't found no more
tuttong ( Iban name) !"

sarawaklens said...

@vines, hmm, interesting, can't say I'm familiar with the name tutong. Will have to keep an eye out for this red skinned durian!

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