Keen to try some durians? Some hate it, but others love it. Read on to find out why it is hailed as the 'King of Fruits' and where to get the best durians.
Here’s a guide to accompany you as you embark on a journey to meet the King. Godspeed. We hope he is kind to you.
Just look at it. Pungent, Prudent, Polarizing, Unmistakable, Unapologetic, Loud, Proud and Fierce, all the qualities of a King. Across Southeast Asia, durians take reign, and are aptly revered as the ‘King of Fruits’ due to its size, thorny appearance and loyal following.
Even ordering it is an intimidating task. The best ones are located in – no pun intended – thorny and seedy street-side locations, and if you want the best bang for your buck, the seller is to be treated like a sommelier. Majority of the durians are grown in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia and have a wide variety spanning over 300 named species.
More popular varieties sought after for their quality taste and texture include Mao Shan Wang (or Cat Mountain King), which is known for its rich creamy texture and bittersweet taste. XO has a pale yellow colour and is one of the most bitter out of all the varieties. Yet, it is highly popular for that slightly alcoholic aftertaste. D24 is also known as Sultan Durian; its thick and creamy, almost buttery flesh is what makes the D24 one of the most hailed out of all the other varieties. If you like all things sweet, then Red Prawn would be your preferred choice. It is by far the sweetest of all the durians; the red prawn gets its name from its orangey-red colour of the flesh.
If this is your first time attempting to tick durian off your bucket list, here are some WorldRoamer® hacks on how to avoid durian stink on your hands:
- Wear disposable gloves! Yes, it’s a simple yet effective way to not leave the durian odour on your hands.
- If you do use your hands, try washing your hands by holding a husk thorn side up under a tap. We’re not sure about the science behind this but it works like a charm and has been passed down from many generations, so give it a go!
As this is a seasonal fruit, the best time to enjoy it would be around May to July and December to January; so you may want to arrange travel to Singapore during this time if you want to enjoy the durian at its best. In Singapore, durian is placed in almost anything from cakes, pancakes to crepes and puffs as well as infused in our local desserts such as ice kachang and chendol. A popular nonya dessert called Durian Pengat or Durian Custard is the closest to having the real thing all year round! Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
We love the durian so much it’s been ingrained in our architecture, as seen here at the Esplanade where it is prominently positioned with our metropolis skyline. Singaporeans affectionately call the Arts Centre at the Esplanade ‘The Durian’ due to its spiky twin domes.
No guesses why it’s hailed as Singapore’s National Fruit.
Here are some highlights of our National Fruit making the headlines.
Let’s have Jessica Chastain explain further as she brings the durian on-set of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Red Bull’s F1 Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo may well manoeuvre the F1 tracks in their racing cars, but how do they fare when it comes to durians?
Here’s them taking a durian challenge when they were in Singapore for the F1 Night race.
Keen to have a go at it and find out if you love it or hate it?
We’ve compiled a WorldRoamer® list of stalls in Singapore – enjoy (we hope)!
Where To Go For Your Durian Fix:
Fruits Top 1 / Durian 36
Address: 608 Geylang Road, Lorong 36, Singapore 389547
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
Address: 1 Upper Aljunied Lane (in front of Prime Supermarket), Singapore 360001
Opening Hours: 1:00pm to 10:00pm daily
Leong Tee’s Durian
Address: 264 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437051
Opening Hours: 2:00pm to 11:00pm daily
Ah Seng Durian
Address: Block 20 Ghim Moh Market, #01-119, Singapore 270020
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 1:30pm to 8:30pm; Sat to Sun, 1:30pm to 6:30pm
818 Durian & Pastries
Address: 201 Telok Kurau Road, #01-02, Singapore 423910
Opening Hours: Tue to Fri, 11:00am to 8:00pm; Sat, 8:00am to 9:00pm; Sun, 11:00am to 7:00pm; Closed Mon