How to pick durians – Durian Gao

How to pick durians

How to pick durians

As durian season sweeps across Singapore, the hunt for the perfect durian becomes a fervent pursuit.

Here's our tip to aid in your quest for the finest specimens, you'll be equipped with invaluable knowledge for selecting the crème de la crème of durians, whether in whole fruit form or conveniently packaged options.

Whole Durians: 1. Husk/Exterior:

  • Scrutinize the stem: A bright green interior upon scraping the stem is an indicator of freshness.
  • Spike firmness: Gently pinch two spikes together; if they remain steadfast, the durian is likely fresh. Conversely, soft spikes could signify a less optimal choice.
  • Choose green or greyish husks preferably over yellowish tones.
  • Mind the cracks: Large husk cracks should raise caution, though hairline cracks are often unavoidable.
  • Stems' tautness: Opt for durians with taut and rigid stems, as limp stems might indicate aged fruit.

2. Smell:

  • Strategic sniffing: Rather than smelling the bottom, position your nose near the durian's center. The bottom is the most pungent, potentially leading to a misleading intensity impression.
  • Check the aroma after opening: For the most accurate assessment, opening the durian is still the gold standard. Smell alone might not fully convey the taste.
  • Note the nose's adaptation: Tan adds that your nose could become desensitized to the aroma after spending time in a durian shop.
3. Shape:
  • Bulging Sides - Indicative of Fleshy Seeds: Should you encounter a durian with sides that gracefully bulge outwards, consider it a green light. This unique shape is a telltale sign that the seeds are meaty and substantial. Expect a delectable feast nestled within.

  • Concave Sides - Chamber Alert: Conversely, when the sides of the durian appear concave, a different narrative unfolds. This shape often suggests that the chamber might be sparsely populated. Prepare for a potential void within.

  • Embrace the Unconventional - The Allure of Odd Shapes: Defy convention by embracing durians with irregular shapes. These gems may challenge the norms, but their distinctive contours promise an unparalleled experience. Odd shapes often correlate with heightened aroma and creaminess. These durians defy the odds and stand out as aromatic, creamy delights, even trumping their perfectly-rounded counterparts.

Packet Durians: 1. Flesh Appearance:

  • Seek "crumpled" flesh: When purchasing packet durians, look for flesh that appears slightly "crumpled".
  • Optimal color: A rich, distinct yellow hue is ideal for Musang King durians. Pale coloration might signify suboptimal ripeness. For Red Prawn, the darker shade of gold giving a "Red" vibe - thus the name. 
  • Texture and skin: Gently touch the flesh; it should be firm, and the skin shouldn't rupture. If the texture becomes "puree-like," the durian may be overly watery and unsuitable for consumption.
  • Avoid visibly wet durians: Opt for durians with dry, sticky flesh. Steer clear of dull or translucent options.

As durian aficionados, we emphasize the importance of opening the durian for the ultimate assessment.

These tips serve as guiding lights in your pursuit of durian excellence. Armed with this wisdom, you can confidently venture into the bustling durian markets of Singapore, securing only the crème de la crème of durians for your indulgence.

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