Durian. Ah, just the name alone can send shivers down the spine. (For most Malaysians, at least!) Affectionately hailed as the King of Fruits in Southeast Asia, its reputation of having the most pungent (read: aromatic) smell is well-advertised worldwide. As the smell is not agreeable to some, many hotels and establishments forbid this notorious fruit from being brought and consumed within their premises.

Despite its thorny exterior that can be likened to a porcupine’s (or a crown, befitting a King), once opened, the interior reveals the soft and sweet yellow flesh. Although durians can be found in many Southeast Asian countries, the varieties differ between regions. According to the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, there are approximately 200 known durian varieties registered that can be found in Malaysia.

Some of the better known ones that are most sought after are:

Musang King

Firm, smooth and buttery flesh, Arguably the best tasting durian around (also one of the most expensive)

D24

Creamy and bittersweet, golden yellow, one of the more affordable tasty durians

Golden Phoenix

   Pale yellow flesh, bittersweet taste and stronger smell with thin and spiky thorns

Black Pearl

 Smaller and thinner flesh, with pale greyish yellow, smooth and creamy, slightly bitter

Black Thorn

Due to its rarity and exquisite taste (or so I was told), it is easily the most expensive durian, has a dark yellow and corpulent flesh

Durians are available all year round but the best can be consumed during the main fruiting seasons. In Malaysia, durian season typically falls between May to September where they start appearing in the Northern area followed by the Central, Southern and the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. There is also a smaller durian season between December and January.

For the uninitiated, do take caution as durians are not for the faint of heart! Durian’s popularity notwithstanding, the strong smell might repulse and prevent you from savouring the delicious flesh.

However, if you do not dare to taste the actual fruit, rejoice, as there are many products that incorporate the taste of durian that may tone down the overpowering smell and make it more appealing for consumption. Some of them also make for good souvenirs to bring home.

Below are some of the products that had been introduced with added durian flavours. As actual food items are dependent on the availability of durians, it’s best if you check for the availability before heading to the stores!

Durian Cake

Source: Eatdrinkkl

Durian Crepe

 Source: klfoodie

Durian Chocolate

Source: Danson

Durian Ice Cream

Source: Google Images

Frozen Durian Ice Cream

Source: Cleo.com.my/FROZEN

Cendol Durian

Source: mStar

Durian Cheese Pizza

Source: Pizza Hut

Musang King Bingsu

Source: Rileklah.com

Durian Smoothie

Source: Tea live Facebook

Durian Croissants

Source: Levain

Black Waffle Musang King

Source: Softlaunch Facebook

As we are closing in on durian season, take the opportunity in the remaining few months to plan your durian trip as we celebrate Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

Whether indulging in the durian desserts variants or directly devouring the food itself, you would not want to miss the chance to taste the King of the Fruits while in Malaysia!