The durian season of 2021 is approaching, and many of us in Singapore are getting our mouth and hands ready to dig into some of the most delicious durians available. Crowned the “king of fruits”, durians are highly prized in Southeast Asian countries and also infamous for their pungent smell. As this fruit is an acquired taste, it’ll take some time for people who have never tried it to get used to its unique flavour.
As for us durian fans, here are some tips and reminders on how to get yourself ready for the durian season in Singapore so that you can chiong over to the durian stalls when it’s time to dig in.
1. Research on the durian season in Singapore
There are a plethora of durian varieties out there and each species has its own seasons, albeit at pretty similar periods. Knowing when your favourite type of durian is in season is a sure way to getting the best tasting durians, and an ample supply of durians.
The ultimate crowd-pleaser, Mao Shan Wang peaks in January and June to August, and the Mao Shan Wang durian price is lowest in August; if this is your favourite type of durian, head down to durian stalls in August to make your money worth it. D24 durians are also widely available in January and July.
Durians are usually in season between December and February, before they die down until June and peak again until August.
2. Research on durian prices online
Even during durian seasons, durian prices can fluctuate throughout the year. They may be cheaper when they are in season, and slightly pricier during low peak periods. Aside from finding out how much the durians cost during different seasons, it is important to compare prices between durian vendors.
Mao Shan Wang prices can go down to as low as $12 per kilogram or as high as $28 per kilogram depending on the seller and the seasons. Golden phoenix durians in Singapore can cost between $17 and $28 per kilogram, while durian prices for other varieties such as the Red Prawn, D1, D13 and S17 can cost between $10 and $15 per kilogram.
If you are on a budget, doing your research and shortlisting a few durian places to get your durian fix will help you to save money. You can also save time by not having to go from stall to stall.
3. Find out how to pick out good durians
In the same way that you avoid mouldy, overripe and underripe fruits in the supermarket, you should also learn how to pick out good durians even before you head down to durian stalls.
Step 1: Scratch The Stem
Simply scratch the stem of a durian gently with your fingers to determine its freshness. If the stem easily reveals a leaf-green and fleshy interior, the durian fell from the trees within the previous 24 hours. A darker stem indicates that the durian was picked earlier. It is important to note that you should only scratch it with your fingers and not with a knife.
Step 2: Smell The Durian
Sniff along the seams and split lines near the stem of the durian; if it smells fresh like a green leaf, the durian flesh is sweet. If there is a pungent odour, it could be an indication of bitterness in the flesh. If there is no smell, it is unripe; if there is a strong odour, it is overripe.
Step 3: Listen closely to the sound when the seller taps on the fruit
Realise how durian sellers in Singapore often tap on a durian when choosing one for you? It is said that when a durian is ripe, it should sound like a drum when tapped because the fruit is hollower, with gaps of air within the fruit.
Step 4: Check for holes, discolouration, and difference in textures
When there are holes, discolouration, and split shells, these durians are not in good health and may have been infected with fungus or bugs. Underripe durian flesh is hard, while overripe durian flesh is translucent and runny.
Avoid long lines at durian stalls during the durian season in Singapore and sink your teeth into the creamy, rich durian flesh away from the crowds by arranging for a durian delivery. Remember to do your homework, and we hope you find a tasty durian this season.