Best tips for identifying a Mao Shan Wang durian

Dec 04 2020


If durian is Singapore’s king of fruits, Mao Shan Wang durian is the king of the kings. The mighty Mao Shan Wang (MSW), also known as Musang King, is loved in Singapore for its persistent bittersweet taste and lush, creamy texture – and is the most expensive durian in this city.


Less familiar to durian lovers is perhaps that MSW was not always king in Singapore – before MSW took its throne, the D24 durian was the most popular durian, its name triumphantly plastered on all durian street stall signs around the island. Mao Shan Wang only rose to fame a few years later, when Macau gambling king, Stanley Ho, spent 2,000 yuan ($402 SGD) on 88 MSW durians to be flown from Singapore to Macau by plane. This event made the news and drove the rightful Mao Shan Wang to take its place as the king of durians in Singapore.


Today, MSW is priced at about $40-60 per box – which is why you want to make sure that the durian you’re buying is the Mao Shan Wang you are paying for. Here are 4 ways to tell that your MSW durian is the real deal!


1. Distinct star shape on the base of the durian


A distinct star-shaped pattern on the base of the durian is characteristic of a Mao Shan Wang durian. While other durians may also have a small star-ish shaped pattern, MSW’s star pattern is distinct and obvious – and each point of the star pulls up into vertical lines that run up the durian. The star pattern on the MSW durian is also bald of spikes, forming a flat base.


2. Brown ring around the bottom of the stem


The ring around the bottom of the MSW durian’s stem is brown and does not have spikes on it. You can check the base of the durian stem to identify the durian type, but scratching the stem helps you to determine whether your MSW durian is a good one. A ripe and fresh durian will have a firm and moist stem – so, ask your durian seller to let you scratch the stem and check if it comes out green!


3. Broad, pyramid-looking spikes


MSW durians have short, broad, pyramid-shaped spikes – unlike other durians that have skinnier, longer, rounder spikes. It’s trickier to get this one right – so you can look out also for the light green to ash brown colour of the durian too, to better your chances at picking the real MSW.


4. Beautiful yellow flesh


The pungent sweet taste of the Mao Shan Wang durian is gloriously revealed in its bold, opaque yellow flesh. Look out for the vivid yellow of the flesh when the durian seller cracks open the durian husk to show you the flesh inside. MSW durian flesh, when sucked on, will fall smoothly off the seed – and, at this point, you should be enjoying the rich, creamy, bittersweet taste of your desired MSW durian!


Looking out for these telltale signs may increase your chances of securing the Mao Shan Wang durian, but the truth is, dirty durian sellers have tricks to pass off other durians as MSW, especially when it is out of season. This is why the best way to make sure that you’re getting what you paid for is to find a durian seller that you trust – and let them do the choosing for you!


Craving luxurious Mao Shan Wang? At Durian Factory we pride ourselves in delivering the most premium-quality durians – dehusked and packed fresh on the same day. Order 3 boxes of MSW online, and have them delivered to your doorstep for FREE, here.