The pictures say it all. When it comes to Durians, we Singaporeans will throw any manner of decorum to the wind. It is one of the few times that you can actually eat with your hands, get durian all over your face, and talk with your mouth full without mom telling you off. This is especially so when mom is also in the thick of things.
Yes, when it comes to durians, it is the fruit that is the main focus and nothing else matters. No one bothers that the tables are not cleaned, that you can throw the seeds into a dirty plastic box and it is permissible to stuff a whole durian segment in your mouth because you got to use your hands to open the durian. Do it with a chicken drumstick and everyone will be staring at you!
So it is when over 80 durian kakis gathered outside a provision shop to enjoy the fruit together. From Neurosurgeons to students, retirees to property developers, there are no social barriers when it comes to durian. The only criterion for admission is that you love the fruit.
The degustation session covered 5 varieties of durians that evening. We started with D24, then move on to Hong Xia, Black Pearl, XO, Golden Phoenix and finished up with the prized Mao Shan Wang. The characteristics of most of these have already been covered in my previous posts, so I will only highlight the Black Pearl which was voted best durian for the night.
The Black Pearl is easily recognizable by its elongated Rugby Ball shape which is something close to the heart of this ex-Saint/Rafflesian.
The flesh is is greyish white and most of them have little “pearls” of black in the flesh. The shape of the segments are also elongated and looks very much like those fried fish cakes. The texture is pastey and the aroma is only mildly pungent. However it is distinctly sweet with a taste that I find as difficult to describe as the colour Red.
The small size of the segment is offset by the tiny shrivelled seeds, so you still get quite a nice mouthful of flesh. I am told that is it best eaten by popping the whole segment into your mouth, spitting the seed out and then spend the next few minutes savouring the taste while swallowing a little at a time. 4.5/5
I think all our durian kakis went home very full and very satisfied that night and woke up this morning with Durian breath! Don’t forget to drink lots of water everyone!
Thanks to Sumosumo, Holydrummer, Holybro, Holybunny and Cactuskit for helping to organize the event!
Photos by Cactuskit and Ieat
Read about the other breeds of Durians here
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