Beware the adulterated durians

I’ve been in Hong Kong for a while now and apologise for the neglect and shortage of durian information and experiences.

Well, I have been buying and eating but just not reporting it. The thing is, Durian in Hong Kong is pretty expensive (like 2-3x more, since they are flown in direct from Malaysia) and the quantities that we consume now are woefully small compared to our feasts in Malaysia. I have also taken my chances with Thai durian and it is a FAIL. Do not go down this route my dear durian lovers, even in times of extreme durian depravation. I opened the packet and literally after one bite (the whiff was fine) threw the entire packet away. The Thais really shouldn’t waste good plantation space on bad fruit products. I think they should throw in the towel now, do a deal with Penang and expand the cultivars from the slopes of Ferringhi.

Here’s another reason why you shouldn’t buy Thai durians in Hong Kong even if they are cheap. According to this article, durians from Thailand were found to be artificially ripened and coloured with Tumeric. Hmm… no wonder they often look a weird tinge of yellow…

Test results showed that the husks of 10 samples contain curcumin, a colouring matter, and three samples were detected to contain excessive residues of ethephon.
     “Turmeric (curcumin) is a rhizomatour herbaceous perennial plant. According to the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations (Cap 132H), although colouring matter can be added to processed food, it should not be added to meat, game, poultry, fish, fruit or vegetable in a raw and unprocessed state. Upon conviction, offenders shall be liable to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months,” the spokesman said.

5 thoughts on “Beware the adulterated durians

  1. Hi Sone,
    Good to know about your experiences in Hong Kong. I’d love to see pictures! A friend recently told me that durian in Hong Kong can cost $20 USD for just half a fruit!! Is the Thai durian at least less expensive?

    You do have to be careful with the Thai durian that is exported fresh; but I think the chemicals are less of a problem for those that are exported frozen. For one they don’t apply so many fungicides. However in my experience the texture of the Thai thawed durian is that it turns to slush, and while it tastes okay slush is not really the creamy texture I am looking for. Recently I found some frozen Malaysian durian and I was so happy because the texture was nearly the same as fresh!

    • Hi LIndsay!

      Great to hear from you. Yes Thai durian is less than half the price, often just a third. I have decided that my tastebuds are spoiled! The frozen MSWs here are almost just as expensive as the fresh ones… no kidding. Yes, I’ll start writing again. It’s been too long🙂 Nice to know I’m missed.

      Will post photos soon.

      S1🙂

      • Hi S1,
        Will look forward to your posts! Now that I’ve written down my WordPress password I will comment more often. Before I would always write you a comment, and then lose it in the “get new password” process. Can’t wait to see pics of Hong Kong’s durians! I’ve heard there are one or two people with trees in their backyards, but I guess I don’t know much about the weather there.

  2. Hey Stinky,
    Sorry to hear you got a bad one, but then again any thing from a packet is suspect, fresh is almost always best.
    But what this highlights is that some people who have never tried Durian before will come across these bad ones and will tell
    others around that its the most horrid tasting fruit ever and that’s a shame. but we Durian lovers all know nothing is perfect in this world
    and we keep searching for that special one, and yes I must admit the Malay Durian is up there with the Best of the Best, Red prawn being my favorite next to Jacky Chans wife and MSK, but I have also tried some fantastic Thai Durian, like Ganyo and Montong,also other varieties small delicious types from Dalat Vietnam and some so tasty ones from Kampot region in Cambodia.
    I was sold one in HCMC which was the worst Durian I have ever tasted I was even more embarrassed because I was raving how great Durian fruit was to my friends only to be spitting it out my self, it was watery and texture was awful. So yes there are people out there that will sell you any crap to make a buck. I have 2 Montong Dutian trees that are producing me fruit and they are delicious my Vietnamese friends always call asking, have you got any Durian lol some times I have to lie and say no not yet, so that I my self can enjoy the fruit. So currently I have been lucky planting with seed,and have several trees that are growing well, D24, Red prawn, Chanee, Montong, Cob, and a few others I cannot remember now, but I am really hoping that they will bear fruits in say 7 years and produce their own Unique flavors.
    Sorry for my rambling, lol Keep enjoying them Durians and love reading your posts.

    Cheers
    John Kuranda Australia

    • Hi Johnny!

      Wow you have a durian plantation going… that’s fantastic! It’s really an investment, these durian trees. They need both space and a lot of love. You are obviously an expert since you already have two producing Monthong trees… did you grow them from the seed? I think we need to hear what special treatment these trees are getting. Any tips for our durian friends out there are most welcome! HK is not ideal for a durian tree, expensive real estate. I’ve resorted to attempting an avocado tree as the next creamy fruit I can get my hands on. It’s not the same… I know, I know.

      Rambling is what blogs are for… so no worries.

      Stinky Spikes S1

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