The Role Of Starter Gun That 600 Durian Embace
For any obsessive durian chaser who has suffered for months of restlessness due to the off-season, he or she would start to feel a rumble of anticipation as the final week of April arrives.
Because it signals the arrival of May. Which is typically the month where the most hectic of durian season starts to stir awake.
It used to be that there is only 1 durian season each year. But with more and more farmers setting up plantations solely to cultivate durian trees, we are seeing more and more unexpected intermittent harvests that can occur sporadically throughout the year.
Which is why a decade ago, durian stalls that only seemed to open for 3 months each year can now open for business all year round.
And by the way, you’d know that you are an obsessive durianer if you are too shy to discuss durians all the time with your colleagues at work 😀
The typical durian season can generally be classified into an early season, a mid-season, and a late season.
Durian trees that has a short fruiting period from flowering to the drop of just over 80 days will be the first to enter the market. They herald the commencement of the new season, and also serves as a prelude of the quality of durians that will arrive during the season.
One of these harbingers of the early season is 600.
You didn’t read that wrong. The name of the durian is 600. It’s a numeric name like 604, but not remotely related to 604 except that they would both be classified under the durian category in the encyclopedia of fruits.
It’s actually related to the adulated and irrepressible khun poh ang bak.
For the uninitiated, one might not know that khun poh has quite a reputation of having it’s seeds grow up to be commendable durian trees.
One of the more famous cultivars that sprouted out from it’s seeds was little red which won the hyped durian competition in 1993.
600 durian is often mentioned in the same breath as little red. It also became a champion durian in the same year.
The talk was that the competition was held during the early season, the the standout fruits would obviously be the ones that peak early. So it was an easy win for 600.
Even if that was true, it should not detract from the fact that it has an impressive trophy in the cabinet.
Like little red, 600 was a seedling planted by a descendant of the late Liew Kun Poh.
The legend behind the numeric name was that it’s a tribute to a rubber plant (RRIM600) that was cultivated on the plot of land 600 grew up on.
And in case you are thinking, no the name is not a reflection of it’s official registration number being D600. This is not a registered cultivar.
Features of 600 durian
This is generally a big durian that often weighs over 2kg.
It has a short thick stem that is noticeably shorter and thicker than the average length found on common durians. Reminds you of stocky men.
The shape of the husk tends to be very oval.
Like it’s mother, khun poh, 600 also has a husk that is slightly bulging at each lobe. However the general shape still retains the oval look.
But unlike khun poh, the big thorn do not point to directions all over the place. They grow in a more “orderly” manner if that even makes sense.
At the edge of each lobe, the thorns of 2 lobes converge to create a squeeze pattern arrangement. Making the sometimes difficult task of determining seam location an easy one.
At the bottom of the husk where the seams meet, instead of an indent like D24, it protrudes outwards. If the husk does not bulge at the lobes, the shape of 600 can very much resemble a rugby ball.
It often comes with little to no wrinkles on the skin.
At the same time, a thicker more durable skin enables the fruitlets to stay intact without disturbance unlike kun poh which tears easily creating that wet messy hair effect.
The thick flesh from the aril makes this a cultivar with a high yield. Making it attractive for those seeking value for money.
But the size of the seed is big like khun poh. So even though you would be delighted with the fleshy pulps, the larger seeds throws a wet blanket on the finale.
The taste of 600 is sweet and just a little bitterness packed into it.
In a nutshell, the taste is like a milder version of khun poh ang bak. And oddly similar to little red. The strength of the taste can also vary greatly from one 600 to another.
So if you don’t feel that 600 is any good, there’s a high chance that you have got one on a bad day.
It’s texture also follows in line with it’s ancestor which is wet like yoghurt. Leaving this durian for a day can mean finding the fruitlets sweating buckets when you eventually open it at the end of the day.
For someone who appreciates khun poh, 600 durian leaves a lot to be desired. But it can still be a good choice for beginners.
Try this chilled if you are able to. You might see 600 is a much more different light.
600 durian harvest season
As mentioned previously, this is an early season durian.
So early that it is often one of the first, if not the first, recognized cultivars to hit the shelves of durian sellers when durian season kicks off.
Because there’s not much selection of cultivars during this period, it usually moves fast together with other early season durians such as centipede and 604.
There’s a lot of desperately starving durianer cravings to subdue. And unproven kampung durians will not be able to satisfy this crowd.
Saying that, this is not an easy durian to come by because there are not a lot of farmers who have kept this tree on their plantations.
So in the off-chance that you come across 600, hesitation is not your best friend.