Durian season to peak in August with the 'best and cheapest' Mao Shan Wang
It's not over – a bumper haul from Malaysia is set to arrive over National Day weekend. Watch CNA Lifestyle's video for tips on how to tell the good stink from the bad.
So durian-withdrawal is starting to set in for you. You're looking at recent Instagram posts of your last durian party, feeling a little dejected that it's the middle-to-tail end of durian season, which, you might be thinking, is not a good time to indulge in the thorny beauty.
Well, think again.
August, apparently, is looking to be the most delicious time to dig into durian – and because availability is not going to be an issue, it's also going to be the cheapest time.
"Usually the best time is when the prices are at the lowest, because that’s when the harvest is at its peak," Kelvin Tan, director of durian retailer-cafe 99 Old Trees explained to CNA Lifestyle. "You’ll be spoilt for choice and there will be plenty of durians to choose from."
“We are expecting a really good haul from our farm in Pahang,” added the self-declared "Chief Durian Officer". "We expect the best durians to come in during Singapore’s National Day long weekend.”
And that means a new deluge of the wildly popular Mao Shan Wang durian.
“Our farm in Malaysia predominantly cultivates Mao Shan Wang, aside from D24 and Tekka durians,” said Tan. “And the durians are not expected to drop till next week. Which is why I can honestly tell you that the best and freshest durians will come in August. It's the second wave of durian season."
The 33-year-old Fook Gor Durian Farm in West Pahang is the parent company of 99 Old Trees.
"We all know how popular Mao Shan Wangs are – it’s an undisputed Singapore favourite," said Tan. "And that's why it's also important to know the basics of choosing a good durian, just in case some seller tries to pass off another durian as a Mao Shan Wang."
CNA Lifestyle got a crash course in durian-choosing from Tan, learning how the presence of a wormhole, for example, might indicate a mighty good durian, not a a bad one. Watch the video in this story to find out more.
If, however, you'd prefer to simply sit down and have the durian served to you on a platter, 99 Old Trees has added more August sessions for their “omakase” style durian experience, to keep up with the anticipated haul.
Colloquially named “SukaWa” (“as I like it” in Hokkien), Tan’s durian omakase offers six courses of specially hand-picked durian cultivars, including unlimited servings of Mao Shan Wang or D24 durians.
A durian expert will discuss and share interesting facts about each varietal, from source, intensity and taste profile, to rarity and even methods to verify durian authenticity.
“There are so many little known facts to be shared and myths to be busted,” said Tan. "I have always wanted to share my passion and help my customers understand the unique characteristics of each durian variant.”
SukaWa durian omakase, S$60, runs till Aug 30 at 99 Old Trees, Block 46 Owen Road #01-277, Singapore 210046