Durians are well-known kings of fruits, they are either known for their pungent smell or loved for their creamy and bittersweet taste. Snaking queues are often seen outside durian stalls when they are in season, and it is also common for people to order durian delivery in Singapore as many of us just seem to love it so much.
However, there are people who have never bitten into the flesh of this heavenly fruit before, and if that’s you, it may be time for you to explore this fruit of another level. But first, here are some tips to help prepare you before you sink your teeth into one of these creamy bittersweet fruits that everyone around you is raving about.
1. Keep your expectations low
Unlike the fruits we eat on a daily basis, such as apples and strawberries, durians have a distinct yet different flavour. Each type of durian can taste very different, and you won’t be able to guess how it tastes if you’ve never tried it. Do not expect durians to taste as sweet as the regular fruits you’ve had, and be prepared to be surprised by their texture.
Of the numerous durian varieties available in the market, the Mao Shan Wang durian (MSW) is known to be the king of the kings; it is said to be the creamiest, richest, most buttery and bittersweet durian type, and the price of a Mao Shan Wang durian can go up to $20 per kilogram.
If you have never eaten durian before, the MSW durian could be the one for you. Mao Shan Wang is also commonly found in durian desserts, demonstrating how delicious it is and how much Singaporeans adore it.
2. Choose a durian according to your preference
As mentioned, different durian species can have very distinct flavour profiles. While the Mao Shan Wang durian is said to be the best, some durian fans may disagree, especially if they prefer something less sweet and creamy.
There are several durian varieties available in Singapore and the better-known ones include, Mao Shan Wang, D24, Black Pearl, Black Thorn, Golden Pheonix, XO and Red Prawn. Depending on what kind of flavours you usually enjoy, there are durians that can cater to your tastes.
Similarly popular to the Mao Shan Wang durian, D24 durians are ideal for those who enjoy rich and creamy flavours. D24 durians are smooth and creamy, with hints of alcoholic notes, and are a good balance of bitter and sweet. A safe bet for newbies who prefer milder flavours will be the D13 durian; it is sweet, fragrant, and less pungent compared to other varieties.
Some durian lovers may describe certain varieties as having caramel and vanilla notes, while others may say that some have flavours of caramelised onions. Pick the one you feel that you will like the best and dig in.
3. Avoid getting scammed
With the abundance of durians available in Singapore and the countless durian stalls, there are bound to be bad durians sold by stall owners who may not be the nicest.
When you’re venturing into tasting durians for the first time, it is advisable to go to a well-known stall with a friend who is knowledgeable about durians. This friend will not only be able to advise you on which durian is the best, but he will also be able to prevent you from purchasing bad or low-quality durians from the seller.
Durians can be infected with fungus or mould, and can also be infested with bugs, underripe durians also do not taste good. Here are some tips to tell if a durian is bad:
- If the durian stem is wrinkled up
- Spots of discolouration can be seen on the spikes
- Durian is splitting wide open
- Holes are drilled through the shell
- Durian flesh feels hard as a rock or too soft and runny
Whatever it is, the best way to enjoy durians as a newbie is to muster your courage to take the first bite. If going to a durian stall as a durian newbie makes you nervous, order durian online and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.