Black Thorn (Ochee, Duri Hitam) Durian

Black Thorn Durian

Black Thorn is one of the most in-demand and expensive durians in the market. It’s also known as Durian Ochee and Duri Hitam. I ate a Black Thorn durian back when it had first won an award in 2012 and it was delicious. I was looking for durians the other day when the durian seller offered me a Black Thorn for RM 40/kg. It was a small fruit and looks the part, but it was split at the end so I declined.

Durian Black Thorn

However, the durian seller counter-offered with RM 20 for the Black Thorn durian. It weighed just 1 kg (exactly) so I asked him to open it up. The flesh looked dry (not wet like old, split durians tend to look) and firm to the touch so I accepted it. It was only RM 20/kg after all and I wondered if a small fruit would taste better.

Durian Ochee

The Black Thorn I had when it just came out was from Penang and is a large fruit (around 2-3 kg). This particular Black Thorn hails from Raub, Pahang and is a smaller fruit. It didn’t have the characteristic partial drain/longkang running down the middle like the D160 Teka (Bamboo Leg/Chook Keok/Thraka) durian but maybe that’s coz it’s a small fruit. Otherwise, it had all the characteristics of a Black Thorn durian.

Black Thorn

The flesh was a very appealing dark orange with a reddish hue and it was what caught my attention in the first place. I was very pleased and ate a few seeds only to find out that it tasted rather insipid – it had none of the intense flavors of the Black Thorn durian I first had. I’ve heard some people say Black Thorn isn’t worth the price due to its blandness and I was quite puzzled at their comments, until now.

Orchee Durian

Perhaps this was the durian that they had – Black Thorn from Pahang instead of the original from Penang. I’m not sure if all Black Thorns from Pahang are similarly mild-tasting and I even sent the photos to durian expert Lindsay to get a positive identification, just in case I was mistaken. She said it is a Black Thorn but it seems like it’s been around for quite a while so the flavor is lost to age.

Black Thorn Durian Seed

The Black Thorn has a good texture though – the creaminess of the flesh is still very apparent and despite the lack of flavor, I did manage to eke out a bittersweet profile if I closed my eyes and concentrated real hard. smirk

Durian Duri Hitam

The Black Thorn durians I had from Penang were quite nice. They were going for around RM 60/kg when I was in Penang last week. This is the first time I’ve purchased a durian from this seller and I know he’s (in)famous for cheap and old durians. It wasn’t worth the RM 20/kg I paid for it (would rather get a nice D24 for the price) but that may be due to the fact that it’s past its prime.

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16 thoughts on “Black Thorn (Ochee, Duri Hitam) Durian

    • It’s really good if you find a Black Thorn from Penang. :)

      Penang is where the best Black Thorn comes from – there are some in Pahang and other places (all states in Malaysia) but nothing beats the original from Penang. It can be quite expensive though, around RM 50/kg average, that’s something like USD 13/kg and these fruits are often 3 kg or so. For durian fans though, it’s all worth the price.

      I hope you manage to get your hands on one someday.

  1. Oh My God! You are driving me nuts with these durians! Look at the beautiful sunset yellow colours and I almost could smell them from my keyboard! Why are you not inviting me to eat with you? I have yet to try this yummy “Black Thorn” and cannot wait to sink my teeth.

    • Yeah, it’s a beautiful hue of brilliant orange eh? :)

      I didn’t expect to find a Black Thorn too, especially not from this stall. I was actually planning to eat Teka from another stall but they ran out so I came to this one to look at what they have. It’s the first time I’ve been here, can’t recommend them, I’ve had better Black Thorns elsewhere.

    • Yup, there’s a stall in TTDI that sells Black Thorn! :)

      I’m not sure where they get their Black Thorn from though – a lot of the Black Thorn here is from Pahang. The Penang ones are the real deal and tastes *a lot* better. However, it’s hard to get Penang Black Thorns here due to the existing local demand and price – it sells for average RM 40-60 in Penang.

  2. I think it’s not easy to find at those typical durian stalls. OK … I have taken a 2 weeks for durians as it has been giving me throat infections. Time to eat again this weekend! :)

    • Yeah, it’s hard to get real Penang Black Thorns in KL! :)

      They’re selling for up to RM 60 per kg in Penang so I always wonder how a stall in KL can afford to sell it for RM 35 per kg. I doubt those are Penang Black Thorns though – you usually have to book in advance and pay premium prices for Penang Black Thorn, which suggests an existing local demand that exceeds supply, so it has to be quite expensive if it comes down here.

    • Yeah, this is the latest and greatest now. :)

      Or at least, that’s what the prices indicate – it certainly is the most expensive durian in Malaysia. Red Prawn and Musang King is cheaper than this. Penang durians are most expensive in general though, at least for the famous cultivars. I don’t know why that is, the market there is different, a lot of people willing to pay high prices.

  3. I first learned about Black Thorn durian while watching Upin dan Ipin with the boys >_< I've never eaten it though. The most I've eaten is the musang king and that already made me a very happy girl :)

    • Interesting! I didn’t know a cartoon would feature Black Thorn! :)

      Yeah, they call it Durian Duri Hitam in BM. It’s coz of the black tips you can see at the end of each spike in the fruit. I like Musang King but it’s a little overrated IMHO. Sure, it is good, but sometimes you also want to eat a more fibrous durian like D2 or D160/Teka/Green Bamboo for a change. I like all kinds of durians. Haha.

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