5 Bamboo Durians and 1 MSW for 6 People

Bamboo Durian

Bamboo Durian

It was a late Friday evening last week and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet after a pretty long and intense day.

We were ready to get a bit of R&R for the weekend. Couple that with the fact that it was SW’s last weekend in KL for almost a month, so we just had to do something special for dinner. A lengthy debate ensued (well not really) over what we ought to eat and where. In the end, we agreed that durians was the best way to go and would serve very well as dinner, followed by some cooling teas for dessert.

SW asked me if it would be ok to invite JK out with us (since we have discovered that JK is as big of a fan as we are) and indeed, he did not let us down.

“Can you guys swing by and pick me up on the way?” JK asked.

As he is literally across the road from us, we agreed that it would be no problem 🙂

Our neighbourhood Imbi stall was particularly popular tonight and we found the tables occupied when we arrived at about 9:45pm. We made do with the corner of one of the tables, sharing it with another group that came along. To our initial despair, all the Mau Sang Wangs had been booked by a client who had bothered to phone ahead so there were none for display and certainly none for sale. He offered us the “Choo Kiok” bamboo durian instead.

It wasn’t too bad, although we did complain that the first 2 fruits opened seemed “sweaty”, but the flesh was surprisingly springy and the texture did not come off as wet. The flavours sway towards a less sweet but not too bitter, and slightly fermented taste. We had the first 2 when JK’s sister and brother-in-law showed up and joined us for their dessert. SW and I had recently learned that JK’s sis and b-i-l were huge durian fans too.

Small Little Mau Sang Wang Durian

Small Little Mau Sang Wang Durian

There was no way that 2 durians were enough so we promptly ordered another 3, worried that the other arriving groups were hell-bent on taking the best selections away from us. To appease our incessant appeals and complaints (all done in a very friendly manner mind you), our durian seller squeezed out a small Mau Sang Wang for us, given that the group who had ordered hadn’t shown up yet*.

Before he opened the Mau Sang Wang though, our durian seller also presented another 2 bamboo durians for us gathering that we had done so well with the first 5 (well there were 6 of us at this stage). Thus far, the Mau Sang Wang reigns supreme in flavour and needs to be eaten after the XO, the Bamboo and the D24’s. However, I’m pretty sure that with the Durian season in Penang starting soon, there will certainly be other varieties that will put the MSW to the test.

*The group that ordered the MSW’s did finally turn up, it was a group of 5 and they demolished the MSW’s and then some! I like this photo as the MSW has a nice long stalk.

Stinky Seeds

Durian Seeds of Funny Shapes

Durian Seeds of Funny Shapes

Durian seeds are really special. After you’ve eaten away all the golden flesh, one of the satisfying moments is the peeling away of the inner membrane encasing the seed.

No seeds are identical and some of them have funny shapes and sizes. Some are round and full, while others are skinny and full of dents. This one on the extreme left reminds me on a person’s ear while those on the right remind me of pebbles on a beach.

Did you know that durian seeds can be boiled and eaten? I’ve had this from the durian’s cousin fruit known as the cempadak (a milder smelly fruit with no spikes at all) but have yet to try cooked durian seeds.

Think I might bring some home to boil next time and see if it tastes anything like a nutty potato.

D88 Slippery, Shiny Seeds

D88 Durian Seeds

D88 Durian Seeds

Have you ever counted how many seeds a durian normally has? As the majority of us like to eat many fruits at the same time, we never end up remembering which seed came from which fruit.

I didn’t get round to doing it this time but we’ll give it a shot next time we go for our durian feast.

If we collect all the seeds and the husks and re-weigh it, I wonder how much the actual flesh which is eaten really weighs…

Check out how beautifully egg-shaped the durian seeds are and compare them to anyones you eat.

D88 instead of Elvis Durians

Durian D88

Durian D88

If my memory serves me right, last Friday was the first time  that I’ve tried the D88 variety of durian. This one was kind of cute and looked like it had a nice shape.

The D88 does not have a name (unlike mau sang wang, Elvis, Bamboo etc) and another foodblog from Singapore also confirms that D88 doesn’t have a funky name.

Following from the last entry, our Jalan Imbi Stall had already run out of mau sang wang and were closing up the stall when we appeared. The owner’s wife said that they specialize in selling mau sang wangs and when those run out, its pretty much time to close up until tomorrow’s shipment.

Anyway, since we had already planned for our durian night out, we promptly sat down and were served with the D88. One thing that we noticed about the D88 was that the flesh was a lot fleshier and the seeds a lot larger and rounder.

D88 Interior of Durian

D88 Interior of Durian

The fruit pits were deep and roundish and the flesh was quite creamy but had a drier and slightly more fibrous texture. It was just ripe and quite pungent, the aroma had a woody taste to it, sort of like a whisky matured in an oak barrel. The color of the durian flesh is a very light yellow like an unripe papaya but with the translucent depth of Chinese skin.

Each pit had between 2 to 3 seeds but the seeds were fairly large and you don’t get the satisfaction of sinking your teeth deep into the flesh without encountering the smooth and slippery seed surface.

We had 3 D88 in total and finished it off with 2 netbags of mangosteens to cool off the heatiness of the durians.

Another Kind of Stinky Spike

For our readers who are not regular durian consumers or find themselves in unfamiliar durian territory, you should know that durian sellers can tell the type and species of the durian by pretty much looking at it. What are the markers of differentiation in durian identification?

In no definitive order:

Different Spikes

Different Spikes

1.   Colour

2.   Shape

3.   Size

4.   Spikes

5.   Smell

6.   The orchard they bought it from 🙂

If you examine this photo closely, you’ll begin to get a vague idea of the above descriptions. Some of the durian thorns are narrow and sharp, while others are wide based and appear multi-faceted, while others are wide based and seem almost blunt to touch. The thorny spikes can range from a rust colored brown to a bright military green. Some are kidney shaped, while others are more similar to a bowling ball.

Their taste can vary widely too, CL tells me that the flattish spiked durian in the photo doesn’t taste as good at the Elvis so perhaps I’ll try it next time round.