Sunday, May 13, 2012

Durian Durian!

As I have mentioned many entries earlier (read it here), having a Durian orchard is in every Malay guys' psyche.

Not much different from the dream of having more than one wife, I guess.

Somehow I think it is engrained in the genes of the Malay guys - but I would like to disclaim myself from it. :)

Hey, don't misjudge me. I am just a writer who writes about what I observed. In fact I am beginning to think that these two traits are reasonably neutral in characteristic and virtue. There are too many negative traits peculiar to the Malays - CBT and one other I prefer not to talk here.

Even melatah and nyanyuk seems neutral enough compared to say CBT.

Can some geneticists study what's inside the Malay genes and brains?

Anyway, before I continue bashing the Malays, I'd better come back to Earth. For now I will settle what I hope will be my retirement pursuit.

So on Saturday, I decided to head to Karak in pursuit of the hottest and most durian and I thought supposedly the mountainous backbone of peninsular would hold some of the keys to this pursuit.

The Musang King!
A catalog of the many species of the Durian. D197 also known
as Raja Kunyit, also known as Musang King is obviously the King
of the King, or shall I term it as the Emperor's Durian!
At the peak of the durian season, this variety would cost you at least RM20.00 per kg - may be more, while the generic kampung variety would be sold in bulk  at say RM10.00 per lot. Others like D24 or Udang Merah would probably sold for RM15 or less, IOI or Durian Mas at RM12 per kg.

Sounds like a good commercial deal.

While I know I am a few years late, it is better late than never. And it has to be done today, and not tomorrow. My today will always move I guess, I know I got to start looking for the seeds to plant today, so that I can plant it today, and hopefully five year later today, I will get to taste my first handplanted durian.

My very own.

If I live that long, that is. (Amin)

Soon I found myself at Tapak Semaian Tong, about 3 km from Karak's Town, a town I used to pass by when traveling from Kerteh to Kuala Lumpur, but seems like a forgotten town to me with the completion of the East Coast Highway.
The entrance to the nursery in Karak, Pahang
Here comes the King!
At RM15 a pop, they are cheap, but they
are smaller/shorter, and you probably need 6-7 years for the
trees to bear fruit.But they are cheap.
Aah, this is more like it. At RM80 a pop, they are
longer cheap, but it is at least 3 ft high, and probably
1 1/2 years old. Theoretically it can bear fruits
after 5 years.
A mature 10-year old Musang King durian tree, properly
tagged by Jabatan Pertanian
According to Mr Tong, the owner of the Nursery, durian trees need a lot of sunshine and can't be in the shade of another tree. Typically planted 30 ft apart, in a hilly terrain they can be planted closer at 25 ft apart. Bimonthly fertilizing is all that it needs.
Another view of mature Musang King tree
According to him, Durian Mas is another specie to plant. It is sweeter and has no bitter after-taste, compared to Musang King. But its fruits have to be consumed two days after they fall, as they tend to open up after that - unlike Musang King, which can be kept in storage longer.

Mr Tong with the blogger at his nursery.
I am keen on Durian Mas, but I guess nobody's perfect. There will always be pros and cons.

He did not recommend the variety from the North aka Udang Merah. It tends not to do as well here in Pahang and Selangor.

But men do not live on durian alone, so I went scouting for many other species at his farm.

Kedondong galore!
Kedondong seems to be a drink of choice at Lanai Kijang, the Bank Negara Malaysia's training centre, and it is getting very popular, due its (supposedly) healing power. I don't know what - hypertension may be, and whatever it is touted to be. Go and search in the internet, and let me know please.

A ripe kedondong
Or ask Bank Negara employees. They must be in the know!
Otherwise, you may want to go for Duku Langsat.
That's another favourite.
Petai anyone?
You should not be planting durian trees at the
boundary, just in case the fruits fall to the other side.
But you can plant this gaharu trees to denote your
boundary as it bears no fruits, and you are ready
to fell it after 7-8 years.

Spent nearly 1 1/2 hours talking and chatting with the owner, we went back to KL at noon. But not before stopping at a roadside stall. Musang King is not in season (yet); it should be in June, so I did not get to try it.

But I got to taste udang Merah at RM18 a kg.

And I must say I am in love with Udang Merah. It is soft, but not utterly soft texture. It is sweet, and has no bitter aftertaste.

Just as a Durian should be.

This is not reddish as Udang Merah from the north should be.
This is Raub's Udang Merah, so it is yellowish in colour.
But I love this durian. It is the best that I have tasted in years and it
cost me RM18 for this single durian.


  1. Knp? Nak some? I x beli lagi, baru survey. Will be buying them in say a month's time.

  2. Hi Rahman Hariri,

    I am very interested in the Durian Catalog and would love to have a copy of it. May I know where to get it ?

    Thank you very much.

    Peter Ha