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.

Soursop Drink

Durian Belanda by Fruit Tree

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)

Language Name
Cebuano guayabano; duyan
Tagalog guayabano
Malay durian belanda
Bahasa sirsak
English soursop
German
Dutch zuurzak
Spanish guayabano
French

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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Durian Seeds for Brett

Ok, I finally summoned up the bravado to put up this post. Brett had asked me to send him some seeds and I did. I took the liberty of ascertaining if they were good to grow by cleaning them and placing them in water to see if they would yield viable sprouts, which you can see that they did from the photo below. I put them in a neat little tupperware, packed it with wet cotton wool and sealed it twice over with cling film. Put in a nice packaged envelope and sent them by the express mail to him in California.

Sadly, Brett tells me that the seeds did arrive, but were completely destroyed in the shipping process. I wonder if it was intentional by Mr. Postman who maybe didn’t want any durians crossing the border. Brett wrote that he ended up eating them so as not to waste them, but they had arrived in splinters and were of no use to him.

Anyway, I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed, but I guess the only way to know is to try again. Brett, you can see the seeds in their original state before they left me and I had written this brief post but hadn’t posted it yet and was hoping in some part that you might have a little plant to show me.

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Dear Brett,

These wonderful highland D24 durian seeds are in the post to you and if all is well, you should be receiving them in another day or two. I hope that they survive the journey and have a new and happy home with you in America.

Durian seeds for Brett

How the heaty Durian can cool you down…

Its just after Chinese New Year (2 weeks in the second half of Feb) and the weather is behaving a little weirder than usual but that’s not really unusual considering the weather patterns occurring around the world. In Malaysia and Singapore, it has been intermittently hot as hot can be and cool after a lashing tropical rain storm. I think it is as traumatic for humans as it is for plants.

During this hot hot weather, I’ve been going in short sleeves and always opting for a lighter outfit in anticipation of the sticky uncomfortable feeling that follows having been outside. I’ve also had more ice-cream cravings than usual, ordering a sorbet or an ice cream scoop at any opportunity. This blog entry is thus dedicated to durian ice cream.

Yes, I know that I’ve been a snob in previous posts and turned my nose up at durian derivatives, but in weather like this, eating the fruit is delicious, but eating the ice cream is unbeatable.

Durian malaysian ice cream

Malaysian Durian Potong Stick

First up, the humble Durian potong stick, which retails for less than RM 1.50 and comes in local flavors like corn, red bean, pandan and cendol. By far the most popular is the Durian I think as there weren’t as many in the freezer as the other flavors. You can find this at any of the local grocery stores (this one taken in Taman Megah) and its basically a popsicle which has a very light flavor and the texture of frozen water.

Ice cream flavors at Bangkok Airport

Durian ice cream for 99 Baht at Suvarnabhumi

At the Bangkok Airport, they tout home made ice cream at the Japanese restaurant where one scoop sets you back 99 Baht which is the equivalent of about USD 3. I think it’s a relatively big scoop though and the flavors do look refreshingly unique and fruity.

Next time I’m there, I’ll be giving the Durian or the Mangosteen ice cream a try.

Ice cream stand at Bangkok Airport

Local Flavored Ice Creams at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok

Well after all this reviewing, I’m sure you’re wondering whether I’ve had any durian ice cream that I would bother eating myself and recommending to my Stinky Spike friends?

YES….!! I have to give a drool factor of MAXIMUM to the durian ice cream that I had in Singapore at a new-ish ice-creamery in Holland Village known as the “Daily Scoop”. The ice creams are all made fresh on site by the owner (lawyer turned entrepreneur). I have to credit this discovery to my mum who is very much into trying new things in the neighborhood. She said “Girls, let’s go try the ice cream in Holland Village, the Durian ice cream is really fantastic”. Well, that sold us (or me anyway, my sister just got dragged along). It’s a beautiful little ice cream shop with very simple but neat decor. Concrete floors, white-washed walls with funky chairs and simple tables for the quick bite or the longer sit and chat crowd.

The Daily Scoop Ice Cream Store in Holland Village Singapore

The Daily Scoop Ice Cream Shop in Holland Village

Holland Village has become quite hip and with the new MRT station opening up just around the corner, I can imagine that this part of town is going to get a lot more traffic.

The Daily Scoop has many local flavors and of course the usual favorites, Cendol, red bean, black sesame and DURIAN feature and are rated highly on the menu. Vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut are all on the menu too for those who want the more conventional.

Here’s the menu for the take-away tubs (we bought a tub of Durian-Durian to take away).

Take Away the Daily Scoop Flavors!

And finally, here’s a photo of the Durian ice cream. One scoop of Durian and one scoop of hazelnut s’il vous plait….. 🙂

If you’re in Singapore on a hot day, I highly recommend that you give this joint a try.

2 scoops: Delicious Durian and Hazelnut