As a resident of any country in Southeast Asia (or indeed, maybe you’re even just a curious traveler backpacking the region for some exotic eats), chances are you’ve heard of a unique tropical fruit that’s a staple in many local cuisines. There are fruits known the world over, like kiwis, strawberries oranges, but this fruit is both virtually unknown outside the region and a famous staple at the dinner table at the same time.
This intriguing fruit is called the durian, otherwise known as the “king of fruits” in many cultures. The paradoxical durian is a hallmark flavor that defines national identities for many Southeast Asian cultures. If you haven’t tried the durian yet, you’re missing out on a lot: the taste of durians is so wonderfully versatile that it’s not just eaten raw, but it’s a key ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes. Here in Singapore, it enjoys a status as a popular flavor for sweet treats and other dishes. It’s certainly a must-try!
Getting to know the durian
Durian is a special fruit that grows on some trees native to Southeast Asia, of the genus Durio. There are fewer than 10 species which produce fruit edible to humans, but due to human farming and cultivation, countries like Thailand and Malaysia can have hundreds of varieties, each with slightly different shapes, textures, and tastes! If you’re only staying in the region temporarily, you should taste as many varieties as you can, as only one specie of durian is grown for international markets. Don’t pass up the chance to taste exotic local varieties that you can only find here in Southeast Asia!
What does the durian fruit look like?
Buying durian fruits for the first time? You won’t be able to miss it in a supermarket. Durians have a very distinct appearance that sets it apart from a lot of other fruits. The durian is a very large fruit, about a foot in length, and can weigh several pounds when fully grown. This heavy fruit can be anywhere from a light green to brownish in hue. By far the most noticeable thing about its outward appearance is the presence of very hard and thornlike spikes covering its very thick skin. It’s a difficult and sometimes dangerous task to get into the fruit’s tasty interior because of its tough husk. When breaking a durian open, one must usually handle whole durian fruits with gloves and split it open via a special tool, almost like it’s a coconut.
The interior of the durian fruit is composed of the fleshy part which is what we eat. It’s either yellowish-green to almost reddish depending on the variant. How does it taste, however? Really creamy and light, somewhat sweet, and almost like almonds– if you can get past the funky smell for which it is famous for, it’s one of the tastiest fruits out there!
Where can I find durian?
First-time triers of durian are in luck. You don’t even need to look hard enough to find durian in Singapore! Durians are found almost everywhere, from markets, groceries, restaurants, and more.They are used to flavor dishes and are even a staple ingredient in modern recipes such as cakes and ice cream. You can even get them dropped off your doorstep via online durian delivery shops.
How can I choose the perfect durian?
If you’ve already scoped out some places to buy durians, then the next issue will be how to choose the perfect durian. Not all durians are made equal– aside from the hundreds of variants you can discover, like any fruit, they will also vary in quality. In fact, some countries even grade the durian according to its quality. Here are just a few tips to consider for you to buy good quality durians.
- Observe the color and smell. The color can determine very well if a durian will be of good quality or not. Durians with a brighter greenish or golden brown color often signify their healthiness and ripeness. They are most likely the best-tasting durians, but it’s not a bad thing to ask your vendor that. And if you can, smell the durian too! Stronger odors make for a riper durian.
- Check the ripeness of the durian. Durian ripeness can be examined without having to crack them open. Durians sound hollow but solid upon examination by knocking or tapping its exterior. Don’t forget to check for any dark spots, as that can signal overripeness!
- Compare durian sizes. Durians can be quite expensive, and each durian can only yield so much flesh. Smaller, rounder durians tend to have less edible flesh, so watch out.
- Get already-prepped durians. You can buy dehusked and prepackaged durians at places like Durian Delivery. Inspecting the flesh for freshness is much easier to do.
Our love for the spiky, smelly, yet strangely tasty fruit isn’t going to go away soon. Want to try high-quality durians? Why not try Durian Delivery in Singapore? Browse our site and get your durian craving satisfied by ordering durian online.