Why D88 Durian Ended Up Having A Vulgar Reputation
Anyone just entering the world of durians won’t take long to discover the sheer number of different types of durians available in the market.
But what’s probably more perplexing are the odd and funny names that get attached to them.
It really boggles the mind when newbies come across them. Yet one will eventually find out that these weird names epitomize the light-hearted and jocular manner that people in this industry approach the business of durians.
Walking into a durian feast can be like walking into an alumni gathering… without the facade of boasting about success.
Strangers look at each other with that wry smile that communicates “Yeah I know you have that craving… so do I”.
People you don’t know would talk to you about your favorite cultivars and make fun of each other’s cravings.
One of those cultivars that often sparks small talk and quirky conversations is D88.
The number 88 is already a number combination that the Chinese culturally deems as auspicious. So a durian named after this number immediately raises curiosity and intrigue to Chinese consumers.
A common joke that is thrown around frequently is that if you want to get rich, you should eat D88.
But this is not the real reason this durian is a conversation starter.
The main reason is that it has an alias of lan jiao yuan (烂蕉园) in Penang. If you understand Hokkien dialect you might already be bursting out in laughter right now.
For those who don’t know hokkien which is a commonly spoken dialect in Malaysia and Singapore, let’s just say that the word lan jiao in lan jiao yuan (LJY) sounds like a vulgar term that describes a male body part.
So you can bet that when people are queuing up for durians at the store and someone shouts that he wants LJY, it would be met with chuckles from every side.
It’s also perfectly understandable why this nickname is mostly unknown to most durianers.
How did it get this sophisticated moniker? Beats me.
But legend has it that a Penangite farmer once tried to cultivate bananas on his land. But after various attempts, no banana trees managed to grow. What did grow out of the farm was a durian tree which produced fruits that was able to cater to the taste buds of the locals. This was D88.
In Mandarin, the words 烂蕉园 translates to mean a garden or field of bad bananas. So this is the folklore of how it ended up with the alternate name.
And it’s no wonder D88 is one of the more recognizable cultivars under the kampung durians umbrella.
It makes total sense for this durian to go by another name in Penang as there is a registered durian D178 that hails from Balik Pulau officially named Penang 88. Consumers will be less likely to be left confused when D88 is referred to as LJY.
D88 also goes by the pet name xiao tian tian (小甜甜) which is an affectionate term commonly used to refer to someone who is cute and sweet. Something like the word darling.
Features of D88 durian
The size of D88 is typically medium to large. Seldom coming in small sizes weighing less than 1.5kg.
It’s stem is noticeably slightly shorter than the average stem length. But not as short as what you see on khun poh.
The most standout external feature is that it has a bulging oval shape. Sort of looks like it’s pregnant.
Those that are more elongated can really look like the stomach of a lady who is expecting.
The bulging parts are actually indicative of the different segments of pods contained in the fruit. Giving you an idea of what you’d come to behold when you open it up.
This also implies that this durian can sometimes carry a shape that looks like D123. But much more subtle and much less spectacular.
It’s husk is a light brownish green that resembles that of D24.
The thorns of D88 are typically convex spikes. And they don’t go pointing in all sorts of directions like capri. The words that come to mind are uniform, orderly, and maybe obedient in some way.
When you open up the fruit, you’ll find massive yellow fruitlets looking like fat overweight yellow larvae ready to pop. If the whole fruit itself looks like it’s in it’s third trimester, so does the pulps.
Many people also liken to the pulps’ appearance as that of potatoes.
At this point you’d probably also notice that this durian has a thick husk at the bottom to cushion it’s fall from the tree.
D88 has very thick flesh. Those who find satisfaction with high yield durians are not going to be left disappointed.
If you are packing this into a box, don’t be surprised to find that 1 lobe of fruitlets can take up a box by itself.
But even with the lusciously abundant flesh, you won’t be able to fully and deeply bite into it without any resistance like D14. Your teeth are going to run into the large seed.
With more experience, you’d learn to see that durians with bulging husks like these have big seeds 99% of the time.
D88 is a cultivar that is generally agreed to have a mild flavour suitable for beginners. It often also come with bitter notes to please you.
It’s not going to be intrusive, invasive, or get aggressive on newbies.
The texture feels dry and fibrous. It’s dry enough to cleanly peel off the skin most of the time. Yet when you chomp on it in your mouth, you’d be met by a creamy consistency.
You will absolutely feel full after this durian. It might even be your meal replacement if you are into that sort of thing.
Another attribute is that this durian tends to become watery very fast. So don’t leave it lying around the whole day before consumption.
D88 harvest season
So other than during peak season, this is a pretty elusive durian to capture.
Not that there is a huge demand from loyal followers waiting to snap them up. But when there is a crowd during the peak of durian season, seeing the number 88 can arouse enough curiosity in many to try it out.
When you are high on durians, you’d just want more.
Sellers also like to push the sale of this durian due to the low costs, voluptuous appearance and “friendly” flavour. So when patrons find the more expensive cultivars too steep for their budget, xiao tian tian will often deliver value for money.
Your best chance of grabbing this is when D88 has an untimely harvest. This is when it will command more prominent shelf space on durian stalls and there will be less competition to buy them.