Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Durians, the King of Fruits

Yes, it is the season of durian, the King of Fruits in these parts of the World. For the uninitiated, durian is a thorny fruit found throughout South East Asia. It grows on trees and fall when they ripen. My hometown is very famous for durians. We have a little orchard and I was back over the weekend for some durian feasting

Little Hut in the Orchard

Smoke to rid the mozzies

The first thing my dad always do is to start a bonfire of dried and green leaves to chase away the mozzies. Yes, mozzies here are aplenty and quite aggressive. Insect repellent is essential when visiting the orchard.

Fruits hanging from the tree

Generally, ripe durians will fall from from the trees over night. What we usually do is to walk around the orchard and pick up fruits that we can find lying on the ground. Sometimes durians do fall when we are doing the picking hence the hard hat.
Collection in Progress. No, not sure what's with the hippie pants and pink sneakers

Some people run an orchard for commercial purposes. However, my dad run our orchard out of interest. We do not intend to sell the fruits that we pick hence we do not use any insecticides or chemicals on the trees. What we get is that durians are often half eaten by squirrels. Since the squirrels can't finish the whole durian, we are often left with half of the fruit that is still good to eat as durian flesh are compartmentalised.

Hole left by squirrels
Another proof that our durians are full organic

Counting the harvest

Besides durians, there are other kind of fruits in the orchard. One of the more popular choices are mangoes. Coincidentally, one of the mango trees had bore fruit and was ready for harvest.

Getting the pole ready to dislodge the mangoes from the tree


The Old Work Horse

Bountiful harvest
The skin of the durian is often described as a thorny and hard coat of armour. Access to the flesh of the fruit often involves a machete/cleaver/chopper, a pair of steady, strong hands and nerves of steel.

The flesh of the can be described as custard like with a strong and pungent smell. Some of my Westeros Westerner friends liken the smell and taste to blue cheese but that is over simplifying things. The taste of durian is often complex and varies from tree to tree. Some carries a creamy sweet taste while some are a bit bitter.

Durian is known to be "heaty" in nature. Traditionally, we drink salt water to "cool down" after a durian feast. However, a better alternative is young coconut water. Coincidentally, there were some coconut trees outside of our house and a few were ripe for harvest, or so we thought.

Again, opening a coconut involves a machete. However, instead of precision cutting and prying as with durians, opening a coconut involves pure and simple hacking.

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