It is generally true in my experience that a deeper richer color and tone of the durian is an indicator of its flavor and taste personality. I blogged in a previous entry about the color of durians and its appeal to our visual cortex. Having said that, color does not always indicate a better flavor but may be used to compensate for poor flavor in order to attract the same amount of gastric interest.
Depth of color: maybe a 7 or an 8
Appearance of texture: probably 7 or 8
Attractiveness of size: maybe an 8 or 9 (its not too big nor small)
Shape: Yes very shapely, maybe an 8
Flesh to fruit ratio: 5 (too much of the white bit)
Overall: a very decent 8 I’d say just looking at it.
BUT I’m sorry to tell you that tastewise the D96 fell short. It tasted more like a 4-5 disappointing the appearance of the fruit. Mediocre taste means that you could eat it and it is not intolerable but it isn’t incredibly special either, ie no, you wouldn’t order a second fruit.
If you don’t know what I mean by the description above and the comparisons of color, here’s a photo that will help with some perspective.
On the left, the D96, and on the right, the incredibly reliable MSW which usually is already considered a deeper colored fruit as compared with the other species. The exterior does somewhat reflect the color inside (but I would never use this as a benchmark, merely as a singular observation) and note that the spikes are quite uniformly spikey and quite close together.
Have you had a D96? I wonder if there is great variation in the species where one D96 can be markedly different to another. If you’ve had one and it doesn’t sound like how I’ve described it, please do let me know…