Imagine my surprise the other day when I opened up the daily newspaper in Singapore and found an article on durians.
Entitled ” Durian Lovers Head North on Day Tours”, heading north from Singapore could only mean trips to Malaysia. “ALL that way for Durian???” ( I hear you ask!) In a way it is quite crazy that people would travel from far and wide just to eat a fruit. But of course all our blog readers already know that durian is certainly not “just” a fruit.
Well, in times of recession, travel agents certainly have to get creative. Instead of tours to Vietnam, Indonesia or further, why not build up a tour package for Singaporean durian lovers to get away from the city, venture out with a loved one and savour an amorous* fruit together?
The upside is that a durian plantation tour is a bit like getting back to nature, walking among fruit trees and eating fruits which are in the vicinity of the tree that bore them. Fresh air, exercise and a delectable experience can be had for less than 60 Singapore dollars according to this article.
The potential downsides seem to be the variability in fruits offered at any one plantation (many stalls source from multiple plantations and hence will have a variety for the purchaser) while the single plantation may not have more than one or two varieties. Further, if a tour group or high-end buyer has been there before you, the high quality durians may have already been consumed or purchased leaving the day-trippers feeling a little duped into eating durians which perhaps aren’t the premium grade.
Separately, with the durian glut in season some stalls have been offering a “All You Can Eat” durian buffet. I believe in the saying you get what you pay for, this is true usually for service and it is certainly true for durians. There are probably enough aficionados out there who are willing to pay top dollar for good fruit most days of the week, leaving the mediocre or not so good ones for the durian “buffet”. So if you decide to go on one of these trips, make the priority a learning tour about durian orchards and trees and its environment rather than focussing on purely consuming good fruit and I suspect one will be less disappointed with the outcome.
Personally, I would choose quality over quantity, its always much more satisfying to eat one or two good ones of each type than a feast of unripe or bland durians.
*Why amorous I hear you ask… well if you’ve ever eaten a durian with a partner who does not take a liking to the smell, don’t expect to be getting any kisses, hugs and you risk getting booted out of your room. The contrary also applies, if you share the fruit together, the aromas sort of cancel out and its a great couple appreciation and sharing experience. So before you go, do check if your mate/spouse/lover appreciates durian as much as you do, or it could be a source of tension in the relationship!