Sydney Durian Alarm

This news piece was pretty funny…. Durians can sometimes smell like gas. I wonder what sort of “lab tests” they were running… probably more like taste tests or a feast.

SYDNEY: Building security and emergency staff in Sydney have raised a stink about a trial consignment of Malaysian chilled durians shipped to the Harbour City, mistaking the odoriferous fruit’s smell for a gas leak.
Agriculture Malaysia staff have taken the misunderstanding on the nose, allaying the Aussies’ concerns if not their dislike of the pungent odour.

Malaysia’s Sydney Consulate agriculture director Muhammad Rudy Khairudin Mohd Nor said the ‘gas’ alert followed Agriculture Malaysia staff opening 10 packs of ‘Musang King’ and ‘D24′ durians at 2 pm for lab tests in their Sydney CBD office.

The strong, pungent smell of the durians went into the ventilation system and reached the next office on the 15th floor of the Market St building.

“The staff in the adjoining office, all Caucasians, panicked because they thought there was a gas leak … they summoned the emergency services. The whole floor was evacuated within minutes,” he said.

Muhammad Rudy said security and emergency staff arrived at the 15th floor to investigate and, sniffing out evidence, ended up at the consulate seeking answers.

“We explained that the smell came from the durians. The officers were amazed and puzzled how similar the smell was to gas, although they were convinced after we showed them the fruit and how it smells,” he added.

Muhammad Rudy said three more Australian technical officers took up the scent about three hours later “They roamed around the office to ensure that the smell is really not from leaking gas.”

He said the consulate decided to avoid further misunderstandings by moving the durians and the lab testing to the Sydney Malaysia Hall students’ accommodation.

“We did not get any complaint from anyone. In fact, the smell was very well received by the Malaysian students … who had not smelt fresh durian for a long time. Who would have thought that exporting durians to Australia could be so challenging?” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Lasallians in Melbourne are planning a Lasallian Durian Festival in November, hopefully to be held at the SP Setia’s exclusive development site in St Kilda Road.

The durian is very popular in Sydney but is yet to make its mark in Melbourne, the home of 70,000 Malaysians and 9,000 students. – Bernama

Organic durian

Mum was off to Europe and told me that she left some “organic durian” in the freezer and that I should eat eat when next home. It was most exciting, I was very curious as to what this organic durian might mean to its taste and texture. Upon defrosting (ideally leave it for around 4 hours at room temperature), it smelled pungent and distinctly durian. The color was not too intense yellow (so not a musang king) but had the same creamy texture. It looked like it was probably a small-ish durian judging from the size of each piece of delicious fruit. Not too bitter, not too sweet, the smell definitely won hands down but the taste was (in my opinion) fairly standard. Not bad but also not the best I’ve had.

If you look closely at the seeds, some are full and round, while some are odd shaped and sort of reminiscent of a baroque pearl. This is quite unusual as most seeds in a musang king tend to be somewhat odd shaped, while the D24s and the kampong durian variety tend to yield very evenly shaped egg-like seeds.

Hmm. There’s another pack in the freezer for next time and I wonder if I’ll feel differently about it when I next try it. I’ll also find out when mum gets back, where the source of the organic durian is from and what makes it more “organic” than others…(supposedly the pesticide sprays but who knows…)