Attack of the Killer DuriansJuly 21, 2010 | 4,201 views
DURIAN - Thorny, pungent, repulsive, sweet, creamy, addictive, impulsive, offensive, formidable …. whichever adjective you choose to brand them, the KING of FRUITS shall not be dethroned anytime soon.
We are in the midst of the durian season (June-August) here in Malaysia, and yet I have NOT touched a single seed until now, and probably won’t be maiming the delectably sweet, ‘fragrant’, creamy and rich flesh anytime soon.
Some lamented that the rainy season destroyed the prospect of getting good harvest this season. Even in areas densely packed with durian trees (they grow in their natural habitat; mostly in orchards or ‘dusun’ in the rural areas, though cultivation of durian is more and more common now), the produce ain’t satisfactory yet. Maybe the durian boom will be a little late this year – I can only cross my fingers.
Are You Salivating yet?! OR … have you fainted from the sight or the imaginary whiff?
All the pictures in this post were taken prior to the 2010 durian season. I scavenged, cracked my head, and dug deep into the archives; all the while drooling incessantly. From a formidable, most mysterious fruit (they’re even banned in hotels and elevators!) with a thorny husk and a pungent aroma, durians have been used extensively in various culinary delights such as beverages, desserts and even savoury dishes. So strap yourself in, and join me for a ride on the journey to commemorate the fruit so-deservedly crowned; The KING Of Fruits …..
Best venue to enjoy your durians? In the ‘dusun’ (orchard) where the trees are !!!
Back in 2008, we embarked on a short excursion to Pengkalan Hulu, the northern-most town of Perak state that shares a border with Betong of Thailand. On the way up north, we went on a detour to a fruit orchard that belonged to the late father of a colleague’s. Suffice to say, we went crazy relishing the seemingly-unlimited supply of fresh fruits (yes, some were even plucked from the trees!), all the while seeking respite from the heat underneath the shady foliage from above.
Of course, the durians were gathered prior to the feast. We can’t be sacrificing our pretty (log)heads standing around in hopes of the hazardously thorny fruits to fall on us! That’s plain suicidal !!!
On second thoughts, bring someone you detest (the boss would be a fantastic candidate), and go sharpen your creativity in the culmination of a smooth, faultless homicide …… Muahaha ……
Durian Cendol with DAMN thick ‘gula melaka’ (brown sugar) syrup from Jonker 88 Desserts @ Malacca
Anyway, to please the ones who are not blessed with a high threshold for the fresh, pulp-ish custard from the durian seeds, try adapting to the various types of durian desserts available almost everywhere now. The stench (or fragrance) is minimized indefinitely, and the sweet, sultry desserts may even leave you hankering for more …. perhaps, the REAL DEAL in the near future?
Durian Cendol-cum-Ais Kacang from Sri Karak Restaurant @ Section 52, Petaling Jaya
Easiest on the palate has to be Durian Cendol, or Durian Ais Kacang. Refreshingly cold and laden with extra ingredients, a bowl of the shaved ice desserts with a hint of durian syrup/durian ice-cream might be the magical “spark plug” you need to jumpstart your tastebud to the wondrous world of durians. If not? Try any of the following :
Durian Egg Tarts (and friends) from John King Egg Tarts – Kiosks in various shopping malls
Many places offer durian egg tarts nowadays, from the casual confectioneries to slightly upmarket brands like John King. First opened at Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur, the egg tarts reminisced of Hong Kong’s tarts, with cookie pastries instead of the flaky version in dim sum outlets here.
Must try? The DURIAN flavour, at about 20 cents (MYR) more than the others. Well worth the price, really. The milk and original flavours are equally good, but the others not as tempting.
Durian BOMB – A mash of durian flesh encased within the crispy pastry (much like a Woo Kok or Yam Puff) from Sri Karak Restaurant @ Section 52, PJ
Durian Cream Puffs from Kafe Happy Meal on Jalan Tun HS Lee (near to Petaling Street)
I was introduced to these babies back when I first started my food crawl in Kuala Lumpur, when I barely started to write at Motormouth From Ipoh. Best to be refrigerated and eaten as soon as possible, I faced a slight mishap on an occasion when I left them in my car for a few hours, and ended up sniffling on stale durian paste. Grrrr ……..
But for that irresistible price tag (back in 2008, they were sold at RM2.40/USD0.70 for FOUR pieces), you get top quality cream puffs with a refreshing and not artificial tinge of durian.
Still the BEST Durian Pancake for me; Lee Lee’s Sumptuous Desserts kiosks (The Gardens, Ikano Power Centre, and Sungei Wang Plaza) sell them at RM10/USD3 for 6 pieces.
Sumptuous Desserts LG C-1,
Lower Ground Floor
The Gardens Mall,
Mid Valley City, KL
Tel: 012-372 8848
If you think that smelly fingers are inevitable after a durian wallop session, THINK AGAIN.
Still, NOTHING beats the REAL DEAL.
Myths have surfaced over the years: To drink some water from the emptied husk to reduce the ‘heat’ from the fruits, and to wash one’s hand in the same manner to eliminate the unpleasant aroma.
But have you ever thought about eating durians with FORK and SPOON, or any other utensils?
If you think that’s ridiculous or impossible, think again. I have a friend who is an ardent fan of the fruits, and yet all these years she had somehow managed to avoid using her bare hands to manipulate the seeds. Beats me to what extent she cried, begged, or hunted for the cutlery every single time …. but that’s an inviting thought for hygiene freaks who can’t stand having their fingers smelling of durian.
But then again, there ARE those (me included) who would be relishing the incomparably irresistible fragrance post-feast.
Weapons of Mass Destruction? Nah …… we were Durian-ized BIG TIME at Changkat Lada in Perak, back in 2008.
Remember I lambasted critically on the proposed excursion to Changkat Lada last week? I survived the ordeal. Gracefully, I might add.
Owing to the anticipation of a Major Durian Feast (we had the fruits AND a creamy concoction named Pengat/Bubur Durian with Roti Jala and Pulut back in 2008!), we persevered and revelled in the thoughts of licking our fingers clean from the creamy, yellowish custard ……..
Roti Jala with Pengat Durian – Changkat Lada 2010
To which we were only served with roti jala (“net bread” – get the recipe from Rasa Malaysia here) and the cloyingly sweet and creamy pengat durian (a sweet concoction made from coconut milk and durian flesh). No REAL fruit in sight, sadly.
But this may prove to be a blessing in disguise, for at least I saved the best for last? The season seems to be still booming, though nary a durian is in sight at home.
Oh, did I mention that we are NOT the only ones craving for durians in my house, but my DOG craves as well?