Friends of ETHOZ, #DurianSeasonIsComing! It is time for that unmistakable smell of the king of fruits floating throughout the neighbourhoods and markets of Singapore and on the breaths of Singaporeans.
In Singapore, the typical season for durian feasting is usually between June to August with a minor season from December to February.
In this article below, we have put together our favourite durian varieties available in Singapore, imported in from Malaysia. Of course there are many other durian species out there, such as D100, Hor Lor, Kasap Merah, Tawa, Black Pearl, Green Bamboo, and more; however in this list we present our Top 5 durian species that we love and highly recommend.
TYPES OF DURIANS IN SINGAPORE
#1 – MAO SHAN WANG
Also Known As: Butter durian, Cat Mountain King, Rajah Kunyit
Colour: Bright yellow
Tasting notes: There is a reason why this variety is the most popular. Durian connoisseurs love its bittersweet taste and sticky, creamy buttery texture.
Not only is the flesh on different seeds within the same fruit sweet and bitter, the levels of bitter sweet flavour within the same seed are simply astonishing. A great fusion of flavours. All in all a 5/5 from us.
That being said, because of the ridiculous demand from not only Singapore, but China as well, Malaysia has been over-producing MSW and causing the quality to be unpredictable, and varying greatly. It is now a rarity to get a good one, like the above described tasting notes.
Customer Feedback – We hope the durian farmers reading this to step up on their quality game.
From: Kelantan, Pahang and Johor
#2 – GOLDEN PHOENIX
Other names: Jin Feng
Colour: Pale yellow-white
Tasting notes: Although one of the smallest durians (in size) you are likely to find (it can be as small as a mango), do not underestimated this sophisticated durian, which has arguably one of most complex flavour profile of any durian. Much comparable to Chili Padi (a.k.a. Bird’s Eye Chili), which is small but many times hotter compared to the other Chili species.
The flesh is in smaller chunks, and it is a pale yellow colour. The texture of the flesh is much drier and thicker, compared to MSW. The flavour is like a mildly alcoholic flower which blossoms within your taste buds, which is both fruity, zesty and sugary sweet. The seed size is very small, so you’re getting a decent amount of flesh for the price. This was the most expensive species, but well worth the extra price, as the flavour of this durian is really something special.
From: Pahang, Johor
#3 – XO
Other names: NIL
Colour: Pale yellow
Tasting notes: XO is one of the most bitter tasting durians. It is known for being a smaller durian (in size), and having pale (almost white) flesh. It is a fairly common durian, which is sold by almost every seller in Singapore during the peak seasons.
The selecting of a good XO durian, is different from other durian species. People seek XO for its alcoholic aftertaste, which can send your whole mouth into a drunken frenzy.
And this aftertaste is only present in XO durians, which have undergone an extended period of fermentation inside the shell. Harder/thicker fleshed XO will not have had this extra fermentation time in the shell, and thus will not have the aftertaste. Therefore, if you’re looking for a full-flavoured XO, more watery flesh is ideal and highly recommended.
From: Johor, Genting, Cameron Highlands
#4 – D24
Other names: Sultan
Colour: Pale yellow
Tasting notes: Typically durian connoisseurs prefer durians to be either on the extreme side of sweet or the extreme side of bitter. The D24 is a ‘neutral’ durian, which does not showcase strong bitterness or sweetness characteristics. Thus, making this durian great for someone who is new to the world of durians.
The one good thing about D24 is the flesh – It is very thick and creamy, a combination averagely sweet and bitter taste.
From: Johor, Pahang, Cameron Highlands
#5 – RED PRAWN
Other names: Hong Xia, Ang Hei
Tasting notes: Red Prawn is perfect for those who enjoy sweet tasting durians. They are typically highly pungent, sugary sweet, and lacks in bitterness.
It is important to emphasize that the quality of red prawn can differ drastically depending on the age of the tree and region of Malaysia.
In Penang, the Red Prawn is one of the most sought after durians on the island, and is much better than the ones found in Singapore. Even in Singapore, varieties of red prawn can be very different, typically imported from Pahang and Johor which has big seeds.
The best area in Malaysia to get your red prawn from is Muar (we’ve consulted a couple durian connoisseurs to confirm on this). In Muar, they took the seeds from aged red prawn trees in Penang and planted them in the Muar plantations – Although not as good tasting as the Penang trees (which are much older), they are still pretty phenomenal, mostly because of their ridiculously small seeds #ValueForMoney.
From: Pahang, Johor, Muar, Penang