Whether durian is known to you as the best or stenchiest fruit in Singapore, here are some less-known facts about durians that might help you appreciate the fruit better!
1. Durians fall only when ripe
It’s true that durians fall from branches only when they are ripe. That’s why seasoned durian lovers in Singapore choose the best durian by checking for signs that the fruit fell naturally from the tree – not cut off the branch by a durian farmer before it has ripened.
The next time you’re at the durian store, examine the tip of the stem for fraying. A frayed stem shows that the durian broke off and fell when it was ripe, whereas a cleanly cut stem shows that the fruit was harvested before its time.
Unripe durians have pale flesh, unlike the vibrant, yellow of a ripe, juicy one; and like any other unripe fruit, they don’t taste good at all. A good and ripe durian should taste rich, creamy, bittersweet (ranging from sweet and less bitter to bitter and less sweet) and leave you craving for more!
2. Durians are whacked for better flavour
Durian trees grow 25 to 50 meters in height, which is about as high as 6 to 13 floors of a HDB (Housing and Development Board) flat in Singapore. It’s not surprising that farmers use big nets near the bottom of the tree to catch falling durians and prevent damage to the fruits.
But here’s a hard-hitting truth about durians that you may not know: even though they are caught using nets, harvesters manually hit them onto the ground to trigger a final release of delightful flavour, without damaging the fruit!
3. You can judge a durian by its smell
Durians ripen from the base upwards to the top of the fruit. To make sure that your durian is fully ripened, sniff near the stem; smelling the underside of the fruit only tells you whether the flesh at the bottom is ripe.
Unripe durians produce no smell, and the smell of a ripe durian can also indicate something about its taste. A sweet, leafy smell points to a fresh and sweet-tasting durian, while a pungent-smelling one will have a stronger, bittersweet taste. Pick the best durian according to your preference!
4. Sun-shone durian seeds taste better
The taste of durians doesn’t only vary from one thorny fruit to the next, it also differs within a single durian. As a durian grows, certain areas of the fruit receive more sunlight, while others remain hidden in the shade; the seeds on the sun-facing part of the fruit might taste better than those on the sheltered side.
If only you knew which part of the durian faces the sun to get the best bits the next time you share a Mao Shan Wang with your family.
5. Older, the better
The acquired taste of old-tree durians may be more favourable to seasoned durian lovers than people who are new to the fruit. Durians from old trees taste powerfully bittersweet and slightly of alcohol – a delight to those who appreciate the King of Fruit’s strong flavours.
You can tell that a durian comes from an old tree by the wrinkles and dark spots on its flesh; on the other hand, younger tree durian flesh has a smooth and springier surface.
Overall, these fun facts about durian still point you towards one thing: enjoying the best durian in Singapore.
At Durian Factory, our team handpicks fresh, ripe, most fragrant durians for you. Durians are dehusked and packed on the same day for delivery to your home. Relish in the best durian, order from our online store today!