Malaysians are passionate about Durians. There’s no doubt about this. In fact, Malaysians are responsible for some of the most popular durian varieties in the world like the Musang King, XO, and D24.
Any durian enthusiast knows that the best durians should be eaten fresh. Durian trees typically produce fruits for only one season per year.
However, peak seasons differ from plantation to plantation, ensuring that there will be durians all year round.
The most productive times start in April and end in September. Here are some tips to pick a good durian:
1. Look at the stem
The best way to enjoy durians is to visit a durian farm, where you can get durians the minute they fall to the ground. However, since not all of us are fortunate enough to live near durian farms or have the time to travel, you can get durians at your nearest fruit shop.
The trick to picking really fresh durian is to look at the stem. If it’s still light colored, plump and moist, you’ve got a fresh durian. The longer a durian has fallen, the drier and darker its stem will look.
2. Shake the durian slightly
If you’ve taken the first step and checked the stem and found it to be dark and dried up, you can proceed to the next step. If you’re afraid of hurting yourself, wear a pair of gloves. Once you have that on, pick up the durian and give it a gentle shake. Shake it only once or twice. You should not feel anything moving inside.
If you do feel the seeds moving, this means the durian flesh has dried up and it isn’t fit to be eaten.
3. Take a sniff
Yes, durians all have a very pungent smell. However, the older a durian is, the more it loses its smell. Therefore you should always pick the durian with the strongest smell. The best place for a good sniff is the area around the stem.
4. Memorize how your favorite variety looks like
Durian lovers have often complained that they’ve been conned and overcharged for premium durian like the Musang King. It helps to look at pictures and tutorials about how to identify your favorite durian. The Musang King durian, for example, has a brownish star shape at the bottom, and its bottom point is flat. This will help you avoid being conned.
The best places to look for durians
Penang durian farms are pretty popular among durian lovers, but there are other good farms located in other parts of Malaysia too. Here are some of the farms you can visit:
1. Bao Sheng Durian Farm
- Address: 150 MK 2 Sungai Pinang ,Balik Pulau,Penang, Malaysia
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/baoshengdurianfarm/
Bao Sheng is a farm where you can actually stay the night among the durian trees in specially prepared cabins. The farm grows durian organically, and you can sample super fresh durians at any time of the day once they fall from the trees. Bao Sheng has been around since the 1990s and has garnered a good reputation for its hospitality and fruits.
2. Fook Gor Durian Farm
- Address: 428, Sungai Klau, Raub
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FGDurianfarm/
The owners of Fook Gor have more than 30 years experience cultivating durians. They now specialize in producing Musang King durians and welcome members of the public to taste freshly dropped durians every day.
3. Karak Organic Durian Farm
- Address: Sabai Estate, Karak, Pahang
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarakOrganicDurianFarm/
The Karak Organic farm is run by the Ng family who will personally host visitors who come by for durians. Apart from durian trees, the farm also has other fruit trees like mangosteen and rambutans which you can harvest if they’re ripe and in season.
4. Durian King TTDI
- Address: 179, Jalan Wan Kadir, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Duriankingttdi/
With fresh durian coming in daily, Durian King TTDI guarantees the freshest of the lot. If you want to switch it up, give the Cendol with Musang King or preferred durian a try. Follow Durian King TTDI on Facebook for live updates!
5. SS2 Durian House Stall 鸿运榴梿之家
- Address: PT1976 Jalan SS2/61,Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ss2durian/
Now open 24 hours, SS2 Durian House will be there when your durian pangs kick in in the middle of night. Durian buffet also starts from RM25 with the Black Thorn Durian Buffet at RM200. Durian delivery is also available at the starting price of RM28/kg for Sultan King.
6. Durianity 榴莲疯
- Address: G21, IOI Boulevard, Jalan Kenari 6, Puchong
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/durianity/
Durianity 榴莲疯 not only sells fresh durian but Musang King Pizza. If you are not sure where to have lunch or dinner before durian, you could have local cuisine at Durianity 榴莲疯 as well.
7. Yes Orchard Durian
Address: 206, Jalan Sungai Chalit, Kampung Sungai Klau, Raub 27630
Enjoy durian at one of the most comfortable settings ever – cafe style. You also get everything durian from Durian pizza, Musango Kampung Fried Rice with durian all the way to Musango Durian Mini Tart.
8. Durian Rumah Batu, Stone House Plantation
- Address:127, Mk 2, Sg Pinang, Penang, Balik Pulau 11010
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AhHoe127/
For an experience on its own, visit the durian plantation for succulent durian. Durian cake is also available. Visit soon as the durian season is about to end!
9. Ting Siang Hock Trading’s Eat-All-You-Can Durian Buffet
- Address: No.74, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, Georgetown Penang
If you’re craving for durian all the time, this place is the place for you as it serves quality durian buffets starting from RM300. For just RM60, much cheaper than the other stores, you can enjoy Musang King and the Black Thorn.
10. Durian Homestay at Nature Fruit Farm Resort
- Address: 311 Malaysia, Kampung Genting, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia
- Website: www.naturefruitfarm.com.my
If having durian daily is your thing, you might want to check out the Nature Fruit Farm Resort, starting at RM398 per night. Durian will now be within your reach for as long as you deem fit. Great for family bonding as well if your whole family absolutely loves durian!
If you have a serious durian craving but can’t get to any of these farms anytime soon, fret not. There’s still hope! Plenty of restaurants serve up great durian desserts, and you can even order them online on sites like Foodpanda. Use Foodpanda for sweeter durian desserts.
Read More: Where to Find Nasi Lemak Ice Cream and Other Locally Inspired Flavours
*First Published: 29 April 2019, Last Updated: 16 July 2019