There’s a durian for everyone’s taste buds, from bittersweet to creamy, rich flavors. The edible fruit Durian belongs to the genus Durio. There are 30 different Durio species. About 9 of these produce edible fruit, and over 300 different identified cultivars in Thailand and Malaysia.
The durian is known as the “king of fruits” in some areas due to its massive size, powerful odor, and thorn-covered rind. The fruit can grow up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) in length and 15 centimeters (6 inches) in diameter, with a weight of 1 to 3 kilos (2 to 7 pounds). Depending on the species, its shape varies from oblong to round, the color of its husk from green to brown, and its flesh from pale yellow to red.
The season for durians has arrived! Cracking open the prickly shell to reveal the bright yellow, juicy fruit is best to savor the King of Fruits. Fortunately, getting the best durians no longer necessitates travelling to other parts of Southeast Asia.
Due to its well-cultivated durians, Malaysia is one of the most popular durian exporters, with over 100 types of pungent fruit. Do you know which durians are the most popular? Durian comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
For someone who isn’t a durian expert will say that all durians have the same appearance and fragrance. To durian experts, however, each durian is one-of-a-kind. There are no two durians that are alike. Even among durian fruits that come from the same tree, slight variances are common. Because durians are open-pollinated, they have a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, smells, textures, and tastes.
And these distinctions have contributed significantly to the enjoyment and intrigue that durian fans derive from the fruit’s allure and enigma. Discovering different flavors, aromas, appearances, and textures in the numerous durian varieties and from one fruit to the next is a never-ending quest.
Durian experts have their own quarrels. Some people prefer durians with a strong aroma and a bitter taste, while others prefer durians with a milder aroma and a sweeter taste.
Popular Varieties of Durian
Cultivars with high demand are assigned coded numbers and given local names. The names of the cultivars, the names of the durian owners, or the regions where the durian came from are frequently reflected in the local names.
Mao Shan Wang
Mao Shan Wang, which literally translates to “Cat Mountain King,” is a suitable name for the King of Fruits. The Mao Shan Wang durian is probably one of the most popular durians, appearing in a variety of delights such as ice cream, pastries, and even coffee. Its bittersweet flavor and thick, custardy texture will keep you coming back for more!
D24 Sultan, like the well-known Mao Shan Wang, is a well-known and well-liked durian. The D24 Sultan is smooth and creamy, with hints of alcoholic undertones, and strikes a wonderful balance between sweet and bitter flavors. It’s difficult to go wrong with this one!
With its distinct brilliant orange flesh, the Red Prawn durian stands out among the other varieties. It has a rich, creamy texture and a sweet flavor with a hint of bitterness. If you want to experience a sweet durian that’s distinct from the rest, this is the durian for you!
D13 – Kampong
The D13 durian, often known as a ‘kampong’ breed, is a popular home fruit. D13 is a delectable sticky treat for individuals who prefer less spicy flavors, with its vivid orange flesh and sweet, fragrant flavor.
D101 – Red Flesh
The D101 durian has a delicate flavor profile that is somewhat sweet and buttery, with sour undertones. D101 is a popular choice among durian connoisseurs and children who adore sweet durians!
The D1 durian has a creamy, sweet flavor. The flesh is slightly gritty on the outside, but it easily peels away from the seeds. If you’re just getting started, the D1 durian is a good place to start.
D2- Nina Dato
Its golden flesh has a moderate astringent flavor that is balanced by a subtle sweetness.
D5 – Ibrahim
Its flesh is dry to the touch but has a pleasant sweetness to it.
D6 – Samsu
It’s known for its wet meat, which has a slight bitterness to it despite its luscious texture. It has a smaller size.
D10 – Green Head
It’s known for its incredibly sweet flavor, despite the fact that it’s a little dry to the touch. It’s a terrific way to get started.
D13 – Golden Bun
It’s one of the most popular books. It has a thick, buttery texture and a rush of sweet and rich flavors.
D18 – Sunset
Its unique red finish is well-known. It has a dry texture and a balanced sweetness to it.
D28 – Creamy Bun
It has a creamy, silky texture. Its meat has an earthy sweetness to it, as well as an astringent aftertaste.
D78 – Sweetie
Its rich flesh is pleasantly sweet with a little astringent taste while being dry to the touch, making it one of the bestsellers.
D88 – Darling
It has a sweet flavor with a bittersweet aftertaste and is lush but firm. The size of the fruit is smaller.
D163 – Hulu
The Hulu is dense, but it’s also smooth and starchy, and it melts in your tongue. It has a mild bitterness to it, with fragrant chocolate undertones.
D197 – Musang King
The thick flesh and small core of the Musang King are well-known. In your mouth, it melts. It has a layered richness in its lengthy finish. The aftertaste is bittersweet.
Its rich consistency hints to a mild astringent note that is balanced by an earthy and delicate sweetness, and it was bred in the wild.
If you’re not a fan of sweets, try the rare Golden Phoenix durian instead. It has a harsh and bitter flavor and a more pungent scent and pale, watery yellow flesh. Golden Phoenix is more of an acquired flavor, so start with a small amount if you’re new to durians.
The unique Tekka durian is a must-try for serious durian connoisseurs. With its pale yellow flesh and irregularly shaped seeds, it may not be the most cosmetically beautiful, but it certainly makes up for it in taste. The unique sweet, flowery, and bitter flavors of Tekka durian make it a widely praised variation among those who have tried it! The whitish flesh of the D17 durian is delicate and smooth. The D17 has a bitter taste to it, although not being overpowering. D17 is the choice for you if you prefer gentler but still aromatic flavors.
The incredibly rare Black Thorn durian, one of the higher-grade durians, changes the game with its powerful, bitter flavors and custardy orange-red flesh.
If you like Mao Shan Wang, the Black Thorn durian is a must-try — if you can find it! The flesh of the Black Thorn is a reddish-orange color. It has a circular form. The arils are medium in size and have thick flesh. The flesh is creamy, sweet, and slightly bitter, with a delicate texture. The aroma is mediocre.
As its name suggests, the Black Pearl durian is distinguished by its small, pearl-like seeds and delicate external husk. The uncommon Black Pearl durian is milder with a little bitter and milky taste, making it ideal for people who like a less filling taste!
Hor Lor Hor
The Hor Lor durian has an elongated shape, which matches its Hokkien name (a gourd). This durian is another option for those who want a milder flavor. Hor Lor has ivory-colored meat with moderate flavors and a hint of sweetness, making it a delicious treat!
Durian Varieties Specific to Different Countries
- XO: It has a pale color and dense flesh with an alcoholic fermentation tinge.
- Chook Kiok: The translation of Chook Kiok in Cantonese is bamboo leg. It has a characteristic yellow-colored core.
- D168 (IOI): It has a spherical form and is medium-sized with a green and yellow outer skin color and flesh that is easy to dislodge. The flesh is medium-thick, solid, and yellow-colored with a sweet flavor.
Some of the most popular types in Thailand are:
- Kop (D99- Frog)
- Chanee (D123 – gibbon): It has got excellent resistance to infection by Phytophthora palmivora
- Green Durian or Berserah or Tuan Mek Hijau, is the best (D145)
- Kan Yao (Long Stem, D158): It’s a less common variety, but it’s treasured for being sweet and odorless.
- Mon Thong (D159 – Golden Pillow): This variety is the most commercially sought after because of its thick, full-bodied, creamy and somewhat sweet-tasting meat, as well as smaller seeds and a very slight odor.
- Thong Kradum (D169 – Golden Button)
- Yao Kan
Over 103 different types of durian are found in Indonesia.
The following are the most widely farmed species:
- Sukun (Central Java)
- Sijapang (Betawi)
- Sitokong (Betawi)
- Simas (Bogor)
- Sunan (Jepara)
- Si dodol
- Si hijau (South Kalimantan)
- Petruk film Petruk (Jepara, Central Java)
Selecting the Most Delicious Durian Varieties
Now that you know how to distinguish between the various sorts of durians, you’ll need to know how to select the best durians for the ultimate durian feast!
How Do You Know Whether Your Durians are Still Fresh
Dryness of the stem and huge cracks (hairline cracks are okay!) are also signs that the durian is old. You should choose another durian if the stem is dry and the husks have significant cracks.
How Do You Know if Your Durians are Ripe
You can tell if a durian is ripe by listening for a knocking sound when you shake it. When the durian is fully ripe, the seed separates from the shell and makes a knocking sound. Another thing to consider is the durian’s weight. Unripe durians are always lighter than ripe durians!