D199 Bola Durian Will Give You A Ball Of A Time
Even though durians can take on all types of forms, it is a fruit that is generally considered to be rounded in shape.
This despite some cultivars that are known to be elongated, elliptical, and irregular.
With a fruit that is circular and sized like a football, you’d expect it to be compared to a ball very often. But this is not the case.
Maybe because one durian has monopolised the ball metaphor so much that it uses the word as it’s own name. So it can caused confusion when you use the term to describe other types of durians.
This is D199. Bola, which is the Malay word translated to ball. In mandarin, it’s called qiu (球) or sometimes mei qiu (美球) which means beautiful ball.
It originated from the small town of Batu Pahat in Johor and got this name for the obvious reason that the shape of the durian is so rounded and circular that you might even label it a sphere.
Some even claim that from tests conducted in a scientific lab, bola was recorded to have started rolling even when placed on level ground. While this is obviously a tongue-in-cheek expression, it demonstrates how prominent this feature is for this cultivar.
But if you think that it might replace footballs in the Champions League soon, you have a very disturbed mind indeed 😀
Consider that bola is a registered cultivar with MARDI and given the tag D199. So this has some pedigree and is no durian to roll your eyes over.
Features of bola durian
This is a big durian that can easily exceed 2kg.
And as previously stated, the most noteworthy attribute is it’s external appearance looking like a ball.
Even the top and bottom of this durian is curved convex, unlike many similarly rounded types of durians that are truncated. Many would mistake it as D88 from the exterior appearance.
The top area before the stem has sunken spikes that reminds one of khun poh.
The thorns around the husk are rather large with some that can look like D14 and scattered in a rather uniform pattern throughout. But since this is a big durian, the ratio of thorn size to fruit size is still lower yet denser than that of D14.
If durians were native to the western world during medieval times, bola might have been used as the unforgiving head of the morning star.
At the bottom, there is a small indent in a manner liken to D24.
Inside the husk are pearly yellow-white fruitlets that are as pulpy as big bun. It don’t just look like big bun, it bites like it too in the sense that the flesh is thick and super smooth with little fiber.
The taste is a little bitter and subtly sweet. Don’t be disappointed. You can get bitter or sweet durian with other cultivars. More often than not, it is also numbing.
People get bola durian for it’s majestic creaminess that comes with a hint of vanilla flavour. While this is unique, it also slots bola into a relatively niche market.
The creaminess of texture can often times be thicker than the creaminess durians you’ve ever tried. Bar none.
It taste like a classy dessert filling crafted by a pastry chef from the kitchen of a 5-star hotel.
With every bite, you’re gonna close your eyes and enjoy the flavour softly caressing your tastebuds like an erotic lover.
Durians that are just creamy might have been a novelty in the past, but in modern times, the demands of consumers in terms of tastes have changed.
A lot of people go for a strong durian flavour these days. And conviction can be found with the widespread fever of crowd favourites like black thorn and musang king.
So don’t have too high an expectation when you are trying it for the first time. Or you could very well be left disappointed.
A lot of cultivars have a punchy durian flavour. But if you put them side-by-side with musang king, it can pale in comparison.
If musang king is the Hermes of durians, then bola is like Furla. Not in the league of the top brands, but not too shabby in it’s own right as well.
If not for the of the big seeds lodged in the fruitlets, this might be one of the highest yielding durians around. For some reason, I am always reminded of IOI in this aspect when having mei qiu.
Bola durian harvest season
This is a very rare durian that you will almost never see sitting in a stall outside of Johor.
Of course, short supply is a big reason for this. But the low supply is a result of the low demand for it from the mass market. This is due to the mild flavour it embodies as described earlier. You might change your mind once you’ve tried it.
The dropping period of bola tends to be in the later part of the early season.
And if you go around actively seeking it, you’d most likely be running around in circles.
Bola is a durian that looks for you rather than the other way around. What I mean is that it sometimes appear out of the blue on a seller’s inventory list, then disappears just as quickly.
So if you want to cross this durian off your bucket list, then just be more mindful to look out for it whenever sellers publish their stocks for the day. Then act decisively and shoot for goal when the opportunity arise.
It is probably your best chance to score one for yourself.