1. Musang King (Mao Shan Wang/D197/Raja Kunyit)
This beauty is from a very old tree. That’s important as older trees produce a more complex flavor profile, often described as chocolate. Like all Musang King, this durian has absurdly creamy and sticky flesh that coats the mouth with intense sticky bittersweet goodness.
The characteristic saffron like flesh is wrinkled and you can see the seeds peeking through the skin. It’s very flavorful and not for the faint hearted – the concentrated flavors of the durian lingers long and the seeds are flat and tiny.
I got this for RM 25/kg at a new stall I discovered. It has a lot of unusual durians e.g. Durian Tembaga but their smaller selection of Musang Kings are surprisingly good grade. Me and my better half totally devoured this 1.3 kg fruit and left two seeds for her dad. It’s RM 32 for just a few seeds but definitely worth the price. I’ll go back to this stall again.
2. Green Skin (D145)
This is a good example of Green Skin Durian. It’s shaped like a melon and has bright green skin (thus the name). It’s designated as D145 and other popular names include Cheh Poay, Cheh Kak, Durian Hijau and Tuan Mek Hijau/Berserah. It has creamy yellow flesh which is slightly dry (in a good way). This particular Green Skin only had 4 sections, each having two (2) very uniform seeds for a total of 8.
I got this for RM 15/kg at a new shop I discovered near SS6. This particular specimen weighed 1.4 kg which comes up to a total of RM 21. Green Skin is a Penang durian (cheh poay literally means green skin in Hokkien) and this place specializes in bringing down durians from the northern states (while others do Pahang, Johor etc).
I think a lot of new durian connoisseurs would love Green Skin – it tastes a lot like Mas Selangor. The flesh is ultra creamy and very, very sweet with little to no fibre. It’s just pure sugary goodness that melts in your mouth, and there’s a lot of flesh. Yum.
3. Durian Tembaga (D118)
I’ve never had this durian before but I know it’s very popular in Indonesia. Durian Tembaga is called such due to the color of the flesh. Tembaga means copper. It has a strange shape with five (5) distinctive sides.
I wanted to try something different and this seller came up with three (3) durian tembaga he was keeping for another buyer (who didn’t turn up). I ended up buying one at RM 18/kg (bargained down from RM 20/kg).
Durian Tembaga is an official clone (D118) but you hardly ever see it around coz it’s one of those lesser known cultivars. That means it doesn’t have the “brand power” of something like Black Thorn, Musang King or Red Prawn (Ang Heh).
That doesn’t mean it’s not good though, if you like thick fleshed durians with a rich and bittersweet profile, you’ll love Durian Tembaga. This durian breed isn’t small though, it’s a medium to large sized fruit – the one I selected weighed 2.7 kg and cost me RM 48. The seeds are small and flat though.
4. Sweet XO
I thought this was a rather weird experience. I bought an starfruit shaped XO and it tasted sweet with little of the alcoholic aftertaste you usually associate with an XO durian. It still tasted good and it was cheap at RM 12/kg and I just assumed it was from a younger tree.
XO Durians are one of the larger species out there – this one weighs 3.3 kg and came up to RM 40. I asked my dear if she tasted an alcoholic aftertaste and she did so maybe it’s me who has a left-of-center palate. I tasted bittersweet notes where she tasted sweet on more than one occasion too.
5. D7 Durian
D7 is a very old durian clone. It was officially registered in 1934, before there was even a Malaysia, which makes it among the first batch of registered durian cultivars. However, throughout the ensuring 81 years, it has waned in popularity (at least among the mass market) which is a bit of a shame. There were only 2 when I went yesterday.
The D7 durian is recognizable from the yellow shell and spikes of the fruit. This is in complete contrast with the Green Skin Durian (which I bought at the same stall). BTW, the color does not denote ripeness, it’s just a breeding characteristic. It’s sold at RM 15/kg for this 1.2 kg fruit. It’s a steal at RM 18.
It’s very tasty and the seeds are beautiful and appealing, with the flesh pulling back from the seeds slightly. D7 durians tastes slightly moist (not the bad kind of wet like old durians, it just has more moisture than the dry durians) and bittersweet. It’s a great durian for the price.