For all durian lovers out there, you might have heard of Musang King, Mao Shan Wang, Red Prawn, etc.  But how many of you have ever tasted the original, unadulterated original species of durian?

Durian Asli shape

Durian Asli shape

Fondly called Ye Shan Liu Lian (Wild Mountain Durian) or Durian Asli, this prickly original is large, long and the spikes are long, sharp and twisted.

check out the long spines of the durian asli

Check out the long spines of the durian asli

This durian, unlike the Musang Kings you can just wince and pay for if they’re scarce, is harder to find than you can imagine.  On top of that, finding a good Durian Asli is even harder.  Hence you can imagine why farmers started to clone out the original into hybrids.

The one at the bottom of the pic is durian asli.  look at the size difference

The one at the bottom of the pic is durian asli.  Look at the size difference

Nevertheless, like most of the excellent and exotic things in life, these durians are an acquired taste.  Not a very reeky durian (as in you wouldn’t pick up too much of a smell from it), if you put your nose up close to the flesh, you’ll be able to pick out, oddly enough, the smell of blue cheese!

The flesh of the durian asli

The flesh of the durian asli

This alone might put off some people already.  But they won’t know what they’re missing!

This durian tastes nothing like I’ve ever tasted.  On the first bite (the flesh is chewy but not too dry or too watery), there is a light sweetness.  This is quickly followed by a short note of bitterness and then the most interesting of all, an aftertaste of… Bailey’s!  Well, not exactly Bailey’s, but definitely tasted like a shot of sweet liquor on the palate.

A whole basket of durian... it weighs as much as 40kg when only quarter full so imagine how heavy it is when filled to the brim

A whole basket of durian… it weighs as much as 40kg when only quarter full so imagine how heavy it is when filled to the brim

This is the most intriguing part about its taste.  After the shot of liquor there was nothing left on the palate or in the throat but a clean clean taste.  It was very odd as most durians would leave me feeling very full or dry and needing to drink water.

Not normally someone who would eat all of the seeds of a durian (I normally preferred to try different durians and invest my quota accordingly), I ate everything.  All of the seeds.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  It was like being in Charlie’s Chocolate Factory trying out some weird candy.

Mr Cleong Leong

Mr Cleong Leong and an anticipating customer standing nearby.  Yes he sells coconuts too!

If you would very much like to try this durian or any other durian in Gopeng that you can fathom, you can approach Cleong Leong (his facebook page is here (https://www.facebook.com/leong.chin.56?ref=ts&fref=ts) … no he won’t let me take a proper photo cos he’s camera shy so you’ll either have to figure it out from the side profile above or go by the front of My Gopeng Resort and look for a very tall tan strapping man with spiky hair, a chopper and a homegrown goatee standing by a very humble looking stall with white chairs and umbrellas all around.

He’ll fill you in on the different types of durian, how to differentiate them and I love it when he says “If you don’t like a durian here, you have to chuck it and get another!  It’s the rule!”

P.S. Durian season is currently going on now in Gopeng from December until around February.  There may be other seasons during the year but it’s best you check before you go there and find out there are no durians! *gasp*  Now I’ll just poison you with more photos of delicious durians that are not Durian Asli!

Not durian asli... but this particular durian has a very flat shell.

Not durian asli… but this particular durian has a very flat shell.

durian6

Not durian asli... interesting shape though

Not durian asli… interesting shape though

Not durian asli but this is another one of my favourites

Not durian asli but this is another one of my favourites

Not Durian Asli... but this is nice and bitter

Not Durian Asli… but this is nice and bitter

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Comments
  1. Lauri says:

    I read your last post before I read about these Durians. I have never heard of them! How interesting the way you described the taste, or more like tastes!
    Very strange (to me) looking fruit!
    Great information!

  2. Charissa says:

    What a cool post! I’ve never heard of a durian, and now I feel like I know all about them.

    • Hi Charissa! Thanks! Durians are quite exotic. They are hard to find overseas. All those little durian puffs or pastries don’t come close to the real thing. But if you venture anywhere near Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia, anybody will be able to point you to a durian plantation but you need to go there during the season! 😀

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