Oh kome, deghoyan udah luruh
So...the durian season is here again, eh? Stalls are sprouting out everywhere in KL like 'cendawan lepas hujan'. Good la. I love the durian but for the fact that my two kids hate the smell , I have not bought any for the past decade or so. As far as the durians are concerned, the car and thehouse are off limit. We are never to transport them in it, or bring one home!
Of course like many true blue Malay guys, having a durian orchard for my retirement years is something that is always on my mind. It is in the Malay guys' psyche I guess. Tranquility while waiting for the heavenly durian to fall! 
Many years ago, I was that close to buying a piece of land in Batu Kurau for that purpose. It didn't work out. I should have. Every durian season I am reminded of that African proverb that says "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago." 
Of course Batu Kurau and Bukit Gantang - make that Taiping, are well known for quality durians. I believe they hold the Pesta Durian Bukit Gantang every year - we may just missed it this year (1 July?). They are all coveted by the durian connoisseurs from all over.
I love having pulut with kuah durian (sticky or glutinous rice with durian gravy) for tea. Someone just told me of another version of this. Hers is pulut with (slightly) 'salty-ish raw santan and (raw) durian' all meshed up to make a thick gravy - uncooked mind you. The durian would still have it textures, unlike its thinner cooked durian gravy counterpart. Hmm... yummy..sounds "durilicious" to me. High cholesterol though, I was warned.
We only live once, I retorted.
How about gulai tempoyak, and of course the tempoyak (fermented durian) itself? Perakians are supposed to love all these dishes. Dodol (durian). Lempuk. Wajik (durian). Bubur kacang durian. I can even find durian ice cream in Houston. In Jakarta, durian drink too.
I used to drive one car full of Mat Sallehs from Kuantan airport to Kerteh. We dropped by at Kijal, which is noted for its durian in Terengganu for their first initiation of the king of fruits. One guy luvs it, the others can't handle them at all. "Taste like a cement paste," one Japanese friend Oiwa-san would tell me. I doubt it that he has tasted cement paste before. I think he was saying that based on his sight and touch senses - the texture is much like a paste. He is better off not liking it though - a single (frozen) durian fruit would cost something like 10K yen in his home town Tokuyama.
I dislike Thai durians...no, no dislike is too mild. Actually I hate Thai durians. They are not durians at all with little smell and production-like sizes (I think them as mutant in term of their sheer size). Many Thai types would give a bitter after-taste compared to our mostly sweet after-taste. It is more fun with kampung durians. One can never know what to expect - it is like opening a treasure chest. Taste from one tree will differ from another, and since typically it may be of many different sizes, one can have the best of many worlds in term of taste. Give me kampung durians anytime, or give me no durian at all!
Hey, anyone remember this funny song from Mr Os? It is a catchy song in the Perak dialect released circa 1986. I thot it was very well written. I luv the part in that you have many relatives during the durian season (who would disappear as soon as the last durian falls)! Yeeah, and when it come to menebas, batang hidung pun tak nampak!....hahahaha..Os Os...sebijik deme bagi..
Click here to listen.
Oh kome durian dah berbunga
Moh kite minang anak dara
Anak dara anak dara Bota
Teman jumpa di padang tenggala
Oh kome deghoyan udah luruh
Lebih baik cepat pegi suluh
Lambat sikit kome dapat habuk
Kalau tido jawabnya tinggai pokok
Duit deghoyan yang tua nak ke Mekah
Yang muda gatai nak menikah
Musim degohyan ramai sedara mara
Bila menebas seeko tak nampak muka
. I remember that Arif would scream and cry whenever he came into smelling distance of the durians. "Busuk, busuk," he would cry. He would get upset if his mom were to touch the durian flesh - he knew that's the very hand that would prepare him his meal. Akmal is less adverse to the durians, though he does not like them either.
. I wonder why we didn't produce a great scientist who would come up with the theory of gravity while waiting for the king of fruits to fall. Then it occured to me that we might have, had he not been killed by the falling durian while sleeping under the durian tree. So that was the end of Isa Nasution (a North Sumatran) and it was then left to an Englishman named (Sir) Isaac Newton and his falling apple! Ah well...
. There is a second part to the African proverb. "The second best time is today!" Now, while we can lament on the what-ifs of life, and the durian trees that we all wished we had planted a decade ago, we can still plant it right now. And that's the beauty of the African proverb as we have no one else but ourselves to blame if we didn't do it.
Nowadays economically, it may not be worth it to have a durian orchard except for the fun of it. Durian at the height of the season can be quite cheap, bordering to worthless. Especially if the season coincides with the fasting month. I do remember a few years ago, durian was so cheap, you can have a bunch of them for a ringgit!