Durian, to those who live in Southeast Asia, is not a foreign name . Those who are not familiar with Durian, it is also known as “King Of Fruits”. The skin is grown with sharp thorns while inside is filled with delicious flesh contains lots of vitamins and minerals.
Durian season only comes twice a year but when it does it will create much excitement among Southeast Asians. While the strong smell may put off some people, the taste can literally bring you to a higher dimension.
It is important to know how to choose the right Durian. If it is too ripe, it may be overly bitter and pungent. If it is not ripe enough, the flesh will be hard and probably tasteless. To choose a good Durian, it is a subtle art that involves smell, hearing and touch. Below are some useful guides:
Shake and Listen
Assuming that the Durian is not frozen, the first thing that you should do is pick the Durian up in both your palms. Do this gently, and if the thorns hurt, use a couple of towels to protect your hands. Place the Durian next to your ear, and give it a gentle shake, not unlike shaking a maracas to some soul music. If there is no sound, it means that the fruit is too ripe. If there is a hard knocking sound, the fruit is not ripe enough. What you want to hear are dull, subtle knocks.
Touch and Smell
After identifying the right knocking sounds, you want to narrow your choice down further with the right smell. Put the Durian about an inch from your nose. Take a whiff. Can you smell the slightly fragrant odor? If it smells raw, like an unripe fruit, then the Durian is probably not ripe. If the smell is strong and over-powering, it is probably too ripe and the flesh is likely to be soft and gooey. It should smell just so – neither too raw nor too strong.
If the above steps are still very tedious for you, there is another easier way to get good Durian, which is to find a good Durian seller and ask him to recommend for you. One of the recommended Durian stalls that I am going to introduce is Ah Joo’s Stall which is located at Teluk Kumbar.
By following the road of Jalan Bayan Lepas to Teluk Kumbar, you will by pass a secondary school on your right which is (SMK Teluk Kumbar), by moving further you will never miss the Teluk Kumbar Mosque on your left. Just after a few hundred meters ahead, you will see a small hut which has placed a lot of durians and other local fruits in front the stall. That would probably be Ah Joo’s Stall.
A blue-roofed house is landmark to identify the right stall.
Just name the local fruits and you will probably find them all here – Rambutan, Mangosteen, Langsat and Cempedak. The Durians and some other local fruits are supplied from Gertak Sanggul whereas the rambutans are from Balik Pulau.
Ah Joo has been operating for 17 years on Durian business. There is no HAND or LEG sign. It is just an very simple stall that simply sells good Durian.
Inspired by Cariso all the Durians can be classified as different types of girl.
Ang Hae / Udang Merah / Otak Udang 红虾 “Red Prawn” (RM10-30). For this durian it can be described as the Superstar, it is outshining, consists of both strength and idol features. “Ang Hae” got its name from its orange coloured flash. It is smooth, fine and sweet and it even has a slight bitter taste. The flesh is thick with small seed. It is one of the awkward spicies. Of course just like tackling a Superstar it come with a price. The price for “Ang Hae” is slightly higher comparde to the others. but still it is one of my favourites.
Hor Lor 葫芦 “Calabash” (below RM15). This species can be described as an elegant and prestige girl born from a rich family. The taste was fine and gummy. It tasted sweet in the beginning (at the outer part) and it got more and more bitter when towards the end. Of course, it is like dating a rich girl, you will need to spend more. At first you will feel sweet and happy with her but at the end of the day you will feel bitter as your wallet gets empty.
Kim Poh “Golden Treasure” ( below RM15, less than Hor Lor), this one can be classified as mistress, the flesh is fine and creamy. The texture is like ice cream but when you pull it up and taste deeper it is rather bitter. It is like a man trying to keep a mistress. The mistress is soft and tender, she will treat you nice with pleasure. However, once you are hooked you are hard to pull out.
Ooi Kiau Ong / Kunyit Kuning 黄姜 “Yellow Tumeric” (below RM10). This one is like the official wife who always cares for your feeling, follow you through up and down. The colour is fade-yellowish, slightly bitter and creamy in taste. The taste is smoother compared to the rest, even the price is also cheaper compared to the previous few.
Chae Pui 青皮 “Green Skin” (RM8 -RM20). This can be classified as an Independent Career Lady. She will let you know the meaning of work hard first and enjoy later. Which is bitter first with sweet ending. The taste is slightly bitter at first and once you get used to it, you will feel that actually it’s very sweet indeed. The color of the flesh will determine the bitterness of the durian, if the inside shows greenish it will be bitter.
Tatt Kar Chui 塞屁股 “Stucked Ass Hold” (below RM10). This one tastes like country girl. This is a creation by Ah Joo. I am not sure why they gave this name. May be someone is having constipation after eating this Durian, that is why the name came as it is. The taste is sweet and the odour is not too strong. It is like a shy girl that just came out from country side.
There are other durian species available here too. Kor Teh “Bitter Tea”, Kucing Tidur “Sleeping Cat”, Capri “Racing Bike”, Susu “Milk”, D15, D2, COB, Ganja “Marawana”, Qi Xian Nv “Seven Godess” and etc.
Other local fruits available are :
- Cempedak (red meat) – 1kg/RM3
- Langsat – 1kg/RM2
- Rambutan – 3kg/RM5, 1kg/RM2
- Mangosteen – 2kg/RM5, 1kg/RM3
For those who love local fruit and lazy to drive out you can even call for delivery service, provided it is within Penang Island with minimum of 10 durians. Delivery is available for weekends while weekday is preferably after 5 p.m
Fruit Buffet will also be available @RM25 per adult, RM15 per child. Unlike normal durian stalls which limit you to the numbers of branded durians, over here all durians for buffet will be strictly branded (including Hor Lor and Ang Hae). Do call for booking if you can gather at least 5-10 persons.
Operation hours: 10am -12 am (7 days a week)
Contact: 017-4222248 (Father, Ah Joo) / 012-4531812 (Kelly, For Delivery)
Address: 1238, Jalan Bayan Lepas, Teluk Kumbar, 11920 Penang.
View Where to Find Best Durian in Penang @ Ah Joo’s Stall, Teluk Kumbar in a larger map