Monday, July 2, 2012

Durians: Mao San Wang

Its durian season again! The King of Fruits is about to be in a phase of full blown availability. Amongst the favourites this season...and indeed the previous few seasons is the Mao San Wang.

An interesting cultivar, the fruit's characteristic thorns are typically rough, and brownish green. There is a characteristic brown 5 armed star adorning the bottom of the fruit, announcing proudly to all, that this is indeed Mao San Wang.

The 5 arms are the segment boundaries of the fruit within. Here is one from last evening's degustation:

The flesh is covered with a very thin membrane...this tells us that the fruit is freshly dropped, probably the very same morning. This membrane seem to tend towards a watery mess the longer the fruit has been dropped from the tree. The Malaysian durians which come our way are not like Thai durians which are plucked from the tree and allowed to ripen. Malaysian durians ripen on the tree, and fall when it is ripe, and picked for consumption.

The Mao San Wang flesh is thick, often with vestigal seeds, and smooth and creamy. The darker the yellow of the flesh, the stronger and more intense the taste. Typically the flesh will taste sweet with a tinge of bitterness. Sometimes there is an kick...a winey flavour. A long, smooth aftertaste prevails. The MSW is treasured for this intense flavour, both in the nose and on the palate. So in a degustation of many cultivars, MSW normally would feature as the last one to taste...akin to tasting a degustation of cheeses...start from the light and progress to the heavy tasting.

Certainly my favourite durian.

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