Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Food - Sarikei Durians

Durians at Lachau - Between Sarikei & Kuching

Sarikei Durians - wild durians (left); commercial durians (right)

What the heck is a durian that is loved to death by most S.E. Asians & loathed by most Westerners & North Asians? We have to politely tell them that it is an acquired taste (i.e. they do not know what they are missing!).Well, it's a thorny issue.

Duri is the Malay word for spike. In the genus of durio, there are 27 species (19 are indigenous to Borneo, 11 to West Malaysia, 7 to Sumatra). Of the 27 species, only 7 species are edible & hundreds of varieties have been selectively bred from these 7 species for different aroma, texture & flavour. The meat tastes like an alcoholic banana pudding with an amazing array of fragrance, composition & essence (or pungent hell for those who abhors it). Can you die from eating durians with alcohol? Myth? It's not scientifically proven but don't try it at home.

Its tree grows up to 150 feet. Its flowers are pollinated by moths & small bats. It bears fruit twice a year around June & December. The village kids love to hear the "thud" sound of a ripe fruit doing the free fall & race off to find the fruit. The urban folks can't wait for the lorries to bring in the durians & the hawkers who shout bau chiat (guaranteed to be edible in Hokkien - i.e. they will open the fruit to prove that it's ripe). The tribal natives often collect wild durians to sell in the markets. You don't have to a durian connoisseur to enjoy wild durians. It's simply heaven.

Click here for rare wild Sarawak durians.

Click here for the best durian website.

3 comments:

Chen said...

I love the wild Sarawak durians, especially the one with the light yellow sticky flesh (not the orange flesh).. haven't eat that for ages already.. :)

E Ting said...

Hi there!
Any idea if it has ever been scientifically proven that...by drinking salt water which has been "washed" in the pocket of the inner husk, it can:
1) Remove the "heat" from your body system
2) Remove the lingering smell

I learnt this when I was a kid but I still see durian lovers practise this.

Daniel Yiek said...

E Ting,
ha!! I used to do that too but stopped when I read that too much salt is bad for your health. I guess salt is "cooling" and the yin balances the yan. No science to this as the Ang Moh people dont eat durians so unless SE Asia folks invest $ to do experimental studies, we wont know the truth.

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