One of the spaces I make it a point to check out when I read The Star online is Thumbnails. Thumbnails is a little column that features daily a few reader-submitted captioned pictures with the best shot for the day winning a RM50 prize. I thought today's picture warrants a posting even though it did not win the prize. Titled A thorny challenge by Ch’ng Huck Leong, it features three durians on a tree - and a squirrel having a durian feast.
Malaysian durians are harvested when they are ripe and when they do ripen, they fall to the ground. That's when they are picked up and go on sale.
The price of durians can range from a cheap RM1 for a (small) fruit during a glut to a high of RM30 a kilogram for a high-end fruit (species-wise). A regular price is likely to be RM5 a kilogram to RM10 for the D24 species. It is usual to pay around RM10 for a reasonably-sized (common species) durian in Kuala Lumpur. D24 remains my favorite because the flesh is smooth (neither too dry nor soggy) and sweet, and most importantly guaranteed wormless according to the durian-vendor.
Here's something to remember.. best not to leave durians on the floor for too long especially overnight as the flesh will turn soggy from all that dampness from the floor. If you have unfinished durian, transfer the flesh from the husk to a (preferably snug-cover) container (Tipu-ware will do too) and store it in the fridge. Durians taste even sweeter when chilled - my personal take.
As to how to get rid of durian smell in the fridge, leave some orange or lemon peels or another other citrus peels in the fridge. If you can find Charcoal, it works better. A few pieces would do wonders. Charcoal pills can be used too.
According to a Chinese belief, durians do have eyes which accounts for why there has not been anyone being hit by a falling durian. This is an assumption, of course. The actual reason may be because durians normally fall at night when no one wanders out at the orchard during that time of the day/night. Durians are collected in the morning and distributed to the various marketing spots, mostly outstation as the orchards are normally located in rural places and away from towns.
During durian season, like now, if you go interstate, you will come across durian stalls along trunk roads. It is not uncommon to see people sitting or standing around at roadside durian stalls sampling the taste-like-heaven but smell-like-hell king of fruits.
If durians are not for you, sample our mangosteens and rambutans. They are in season now too. In the context of Yin and Yang, mangosteens are a cooling fruit while rambutans are considered heaty, thus best to take everything in moderation.
A word of caution here though: Durian is a heaty fruit (- hot dry weather bears best yield). Take heed that durian and cognac DON'T go together. Take one or the other but never both together! Result can be rather unpleasant (understatement here probably). I believe people with hypertension should also take the fruit in moderation.
Like cheese, durian is an acquired taste. You either hate it or love it - no grey, just black or white! Anthony Bourdain went looking around for the fruit in Cambodia and found it nice, while the bizarre food-eater, Andrew Zimmern found it not so agreeable. What about you? Do you love it or hate it? LOL!