Durian Belanda – Not Durian at all
While perusing the drinks fridge at the LCCT before boarding the Airasia flight to Singapore, SW grabbed a canned Nescafe off the shelf for his daily caffeine fix. I was fine with water as I didn’t feel like anything too sweet or fizzy. Then this bottled drink caught my eye.
Durian Belanda (literally translated as Dutch Durian), not to be confused with Durian as we know it, is actually soursop. It does sort of belong to the durian family description, green with mild thorns and a white fleshy interior but the aroma is nowhere near as strong.
Soursop makes a great thirst quencher (unlike Durian) and is even better when you have it as a smoothie (not necessarily true of the Durian).
This particular Fruit Tree version of soursop isn’t that great, I think it doesn’t have enough bits in it and needs to be really chilled in order to enjoy it.
A bit more on the Durian wannabe…
Guayabano (Annona muricata)
The soursop is a native of northern South America, but it was one of the first fruit trees to be introduced in Asia by European explorers. The name soursop is derived from the Dutch zuurzak or sour sack, after its somewhat acidic flavour. The Dutch name is still in use Indonesia, and Malay, it is called a durian belanda, literally a Dutch durian. However, apart from the remotely similar shape, the fruit is quite different from the durian. The flesh is white, soft, and very juicy, and has a delicous sweet-sour taste. Embedded in the flesh are a large number of darkbrown seeds. The yellow flowers can appear anywhere on the trunk, and will develop in a green, irregularly shaped fruit with many short, soft spines. When nearly ripe, the fruit will have to be picked, because, if it is allowed to fall, it will be smashed. It will then take a few days to fully ripen, and must be eaten within a few days. The fruit needs to be handled with much care, which is probably the main reason you’ll never see them outside the regions where they are grown. The fruit is also often used for making refreshing drinks. The season for soursop is roughly from August to November.
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