Durian Fest & Food Fair in Penang 2012

Announcement to all Durian Fans – The latest Durian Fest in Penang is on again. Details are as in the picture below. Penang durians are great in variety and full in flavor, if you haven’t been to Penang for durians before, I do recommend a trip to try.

(happened across it in this month’s Jetstar magazine – they seem to advertise specifically to Singaporeans to plan their trip there)

Durian Food Fair in Penang

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Durian Ice Cream Carts in Bogor, Indonesia

One friendly doe at the Bogor Botanical Gardens

On a recent day trip out of Jakarta, the road to Puncak is not for the faint hearted. We left at a reasonable hour on a Saturday morning, 7am but after getting stuck in the queue up to the pass, we decided to turn around and head off to Bogor instead. This required some back tracking onto the highway, but the way was clear and it was a relief to be travelling at speeds greater than 20km/hour. It was relatively smooth all the way to Bogor and SW and I  were dropped off in the Bogor Botanical Gardens to walk around and have a look. We spent a few hours walking around, I was determined to search out the beautiful deer grazing by the Istana.

Es 'Ice' Cream Durian

When we got hungry, we decided to take the guide book’s advice and try out some Indonesian food in the Jalan Pangrango district. On the way there, we spied a street lined with stalls selling vegetables, small pet rabbits and strangely, durian ice-cream. We didn’t stop to get any (also some concerns about hygiene) but I shall find out next time I see a cart whether the durian was locally sourced or from Thailand (see previous post).

It’s nice that the durian ice cream (Es Duren) cart is right next to the fritters cart, anyone can have a hot and cold combination.

If you’re in Bogor and would like to know where to find these carts, here’s a map:

Market Street for rabbits and durian ice cream, Bogor

Durian Chocolate Truffles at KLIA

In the International Terminal, as you walk from the train towards the lift to head up to Delifrance, you will notice a booth decorated in bright orange. When I walked past the glass cabinet display, I saw three boxes of durian decorates packaging on display. As I paused to take this picture, MM (also a durian fanatic) went off to inquire if they had samples for tasting.

No, they replied, no tasting. If you want, buy the box, RM35. Well we weren’t going to put money down for a box of chocs which we didn’t know whether we would enjoy it. So we left it for now, may see if they decide to change their mind about their marketing strategy, unless the durian flavored truffle doesn’t really meet expectations.

Available in Dark and White.

Durians in Jakarta Supermarkets

GrandLucky Supermarket - Durian for sale

On a durian hunting outing during the weekend in Jakarta, Stinky Spikes spotted 2 supermarkets selling durian. In South Jakarta, 2 supermarkets have durian for sale. At GrandLucky, the durian aromas wafts towards you as you walk towards the fruit and vegetable section. The durians are from Thailand and were still in their shells and some of them were already split and open. And there was just one packet of durian for sale.

At thirty two thousand rupiah (RM 11), the durian looked quite ripe and soft, almost mushy. We think that this packet was left out for everyone to see what the quality, color and texture is like. This packet has probably u

ndergone severe molestation by all sort of fingers poking it to see whether the flesh yields. Poor packet. I think it is destined to become pulp and mushed up for a puff, pancake or dodol. If you’re there at GrandLucky and have a craving, you can find this whole crate at the back near the fresh fruit section. Quite surprisingly though, you can’t smell it until you’re almost 5 feet or less away from the entire crate. The reason I suppose, is that all the durians are still in their shells or husks, so the smells are contained and also keeps the fruit relatively fresh. The downside of this though, is that you have no idea what the fruit inside looks like or tastes like until you purchase it. Since Thailand has managed to achieve food SOP consistency, perhaps this isn’t as big a gamble as one might think.

Durian at Grandlucky from Thailand

 

All the durians looked to be of even size and very even coloring. I would estimate the weight of each to be between 2-3 Kilos.

It’s so funny that each of them had a red sticker around the evenly cut stems, with the telephone number and email address of the Thai company selling them.  I suppose it might be because it is direct sourcing from the plantation or agent.

Then we went to Lotte supermarket and while browsing around , discovered that they had a crate of durian too. It must be the Thais getting very savvy at exporting their fruit overseas. Similarly to GrandLucky, they also had the durians in their shells, although there were a few more packets on display. These durians looked a little darker (just slightly) in the shade of their husk and didn’t have a red sticker but a green sticker instead.

Thai Durian on display at the Jakarta Lotte Mart

And, like the ones at GrandLucky, exuded no smell at all. I began to wonder if they were all the new species from Chantanaburi. There is no way that any respectable supermarket in Malaysia would have local durians displayed thus because it would just stink out the entire area.

The durians were quite inexpensive. This 2.28Kg durian costs only 54 thousand rupiah, which roughly translates as 6 USD or less than 25 Ringgit. I can’t say about the quality though because we didn’t buy any (was not going home yet). And they had this one on display cut open so that shoppers could also see the nice golden pillow texture of the Thai durian. Notice that the husk is quite golden in color. Definitely genetically selected. These durians at the lotte were going for about 10% less than those at GrandLucky.

Whole Durians for sale at Lotte Mart, Jakarta

If anyone decides to fulfil a craving in the city, you know where you can get imported Thai durian. I am waiting to try the local durian selection to compare it with Malaysia’s wonderfully tasty species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durian Ice Cream with Bunny at Taste Paradise, Jakarta

After quite an elaborate and filling chinese meal, we contemplated dessert. The menu had interesting items like the double boiled hashima (Rp 98K), an aloe-jelly iced dessert and various ice creams. We decided to get 4 desserts between 6. 2 friends decided they wanted the “Durian ice-cream in coconut” which didn’t sound terribly appealing to me, but it came cutely presented.

The durian ice cream was in a scooped out coconut and alongside was a rather pink dusted rabbit. Hmm, what was it made of we wondered. Ah. After the first taste, LR pronounced that it was a pink marshmallow dusted with coconut (so that’s where it went). Was it interesting? Yes. Is it worth ordering again? The response was ambivalent, not wanting to insult the host nor the restaurant of course.

Taste Paradise, 4th Floor
Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta

Durian Agar Jelly?!

Imagine:

Lychee jelly- yum
Mango jelly – yum
Apple jelly – yum
Durian jelly – err… yum or yuck?

For the purists, this would be a big turn off. Pure essence, nothing of the real stuff or the textures or fresh aromas that come with using fresh or frozen durian. Not even dried or dehydated durian. This stuff is the artificial to the extreme.

At only RM3.99 per pack, it does cost more that the usual agar packs, but I’m not sure if people would buy this as a joke or if they really think it would be popular… Would be interesting to see the sales metrics. I guess all these companies are trying to create the market for durian lovers to consume it in all forms.

I think I require convincing.

If you want to try it, this pack is available at the Cold Storage at KLCC. Walk towards the back of the supermarket, it is near the drinks section.

Durian Durian at KLCC

If you’re in the KLCC area and craving for some durian flavored pastries, then Durian Durian is probably the shop to hit. Selling a range of pastries like puffs, mochis, ice cream (see previous post) and swiss rolls, you might find something that takes your fancy.
To find it, go down to the basement using the main concourse escalator (by the Park) and do a u-turn on yourself, walking past Sephora and Guardian pharmacy. Take a left and you’ll see it, not more than ten or fifteen paces from the escalator. It’s a new corridor passage which also leads to Isetan.

The Durian Durian stall in Pavilion is no longer there, it’s been replaced by a shop called “Crumbs” which sells yoghurt and nutty toppings.