Reject A Bad Durian Immediately When You See These 5 Defects
In an ideal world, we would have found an alternative to cutting down trees for material, have peace all around the world and have a perfect durian in prestine condition with every purchase.
But as everybody knows, the only thing that is ideal in on this planet is that bread continues to taste great when paired with a multitude of other food items.
For rookies of durians, assuming that the durian world is like a fun fairy tale that always comes with a happy ending is naive. Such mentality will quickly leave you with a lighter wallet and nothing to show for. And the bad experience might even leave you swearing to never have durians again.
While the durianing community is mostly a very cheerful, fun and social place, there is a very dark side that exist on the seller side of the equation.
Don’t get me wrong. A lot of durian sellers are honourable and ethical in the way they operate. But there are also many bad actors that can be so extremely cut-throat that it evens out all the good we can find in this community.
I’m not kidding. Ignore what I said at your own risk. Because I’m absolutely sure that if you are not cautious when venturing out on your own, you’d soon find out the hard way that I’m telling it as it is.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I received bad durians when I allow sellers to pick them for me. Usually from sellers that I visit for the very first time.
In fact, I’ve yet to learn the lesson of always picking my own durians when patronising a stall for the very first time. I think something in me just wants to test and see if the sellers are honourable in the way they do business. And my faith is wearing thin.
Guess what happened the last time I let a seller I’m buying from for the first time pick my durian?
This was what happened
A hole in one. What are the odds.
I actually suspected something was wrong with this durian when paying for it as I felt no movement inside and that the bottom was slightly ajar. But I was in a rush and gave the seller the benefit of the doubt in good faith because I’m buying from them for the first time. Maybe he knew something I didn’t and has sold the best of his lot to me because I have beautiful flowing hair.
He really did know something I didn’t. Just in a malevolent way. Must have smelled blood the moment I said that I will be taking away without opening.
You might think that I deserved it for not opening the durians on the spot. But I prefer to open them myself as I see it as part of the fun in durianing.
If you don’t want to be duped by unscrupulous sellers like me, you need to learn to identify certain durian defects and reject them instantly.
Granted. Durian displaying such defects might have nothing wrong with them. But why take the risk when there are so many other durians that don’t have these defects to begin with?
Look for these following ominous signs.
It’s totally understandable that rookies in the durian realm would have watched various videos, gawked at many pictures, and read countless websites about durians.
What they might not know yet is that durians are very prone to pests.
One vegan pest in particular is so accustomed to a strict durian diet that it’s named as the durian worm.
When you open up a durian to find one of these wiggling bad boys inside, the odds are that’s it’s very much alive and kicking.
Often times, when they realise that they have been discovered, they quickly crawl to the edge of the husk and bail out like a pirate walking the plank. Sometimes comical to watch.
A sign that a durian houses one of these creatures is a hole on the husk.
But alas! A seller can claim that these holes are puncture wounds caused by being transported and stored with other durians with harder thorns.
Don’t entertain such excuses. Just put the durian back and pick another one.
2) No movement within
When durians are ripe, the fruitlets shrink slightly in their individual pods. Creating a marginal space between the seeds of fruitlets and the inner walls.
This allows the fruitlets enough space to move ever so slightly when shook.
The implication is that if a durian is ripe, you should be able to feel the lobes of fruitlets within bouncing about in their positions.
If you can’t imagine how it would feel like, picture putting an apple in a plastic container. How would it feel like if you shake the container?
If you are unable to feel any movement when shaking the durian, there is a high chance that something is wrong.
Maybe it hasn’t developed properly, maybe it is unripe, or maybe it has already started to decompose turning into icky sticking stuff stuck on the inner walls.
Don’t take on this risk. There always another durian to choose from nearby.
Saying that, you should sometimes factor in the cultivar too.
Certain types of durians like kasap merah and khun poh can have very soft and wet textures. So a perfectly fine durian of these cultivars might not move about much in the chambers. Or that the soft flesh prevents you from noticing the movements.
3) Open seams
Basic instincts should tell you that durians which have cracked open should be avoided.
Would you consume a can of tuna from the supermarket that is already open? Unless you are on a secluded island on survival mode, the odds that you’d not eat from it.
Think about a banana with it’s skin partially peeled. Or an apple with part of it’s skin removed. The flesh of the fruits oxidise and turn dark very quickly.
As durians lose moisture, it becomes more fragile and easy to crack. The husk of different segments also starts to pull apart naturally from contraction due to water loss. These gaps exposes the fruitlets to the elements.
Some people might contend that fruits in such condition are still consumable. But why settle for that when there are durian without this defect all around?
Like the movement rule, there are exceptions to this open seam rule.
Some durians like D11 tend to creak open very quickly. And thus, it might not mean a lack of freshness. But it does mean an exposure to the elements.
4) No smell or repulsive smell
I get it that newcomers into this world might not know what to smell for when judging the quality of durians.
Many might say that this is a skill that takes time to hone. But you’d get good at it quickly if you self-train for 10 durians.
The best advice I can give for newbies is that if you cannot smell a durian fragrance when you put your nose near the bottom seam, choose another durian since the store should have many others aplenty to choose from.
If you get a weird smell, trust your instincts that there’s something grossly wrong with the fruit.
Don’t take the gamble since you can choose another durian.
If you find it mind-boggling to visualise durians that are leaking, I can assure you that this is as real as it gets.
It can be decomposed flesh, badly grown fruitlets, or even rainwater that made it’s way into the durian.
Natural instincts should tell you that you need to put the durian back in it’s place and run.
Finally don’t forget that you can always request for the durian to be opened at the stall for a quick inspection before bringing the fruit home.
And if you are eating at the store, most sellers are honourable enough to replace such bad durians no matter how low their ratings are on Google reviews.
I will leave this discussion with a thought that I have repeated again and again.
You don’t have to pick a particular durian since there are so many to choose from at a store. Just drop a durian as soon as it shows one or two of the above mentioned defects and pick another one.