D24 Durian Types: Sultan, Super D24, Highland D24

D24 Durian

The D24 Durian used to be the most popular and in-demand durian before the advent of D175/Red Prawn/Ang Heh and later D197/Musang King/Raja Kunyit. It’s still the favorite of many people, but has lost some of its star appeal since it’s so common now (and I predict the same would happen to Musang King in the future – a glut).

D24 Sultan Durians

However, it’s still a very good and well-rounded durian – bitter to bittersweet, fleshy and creamy and strong smelling. There are various “subtypes” of the D24 durian – regular D24, Super D24, and XO, in increasing price.

Durian D24

Highland D24 is another subtype (although I don’t know what differentiates it from Super D24) coming from a higher altitude and older trees.

Durian Seller

I’ve eaten a lot of D24 durians this season, primarily coz my better half likes it. They’re from various sources, old trees (Super D24/Highland D24) to ones of unknown provenance like this uncle selling D24 durians from the boot of his car.

D24 Durian Weight

I found his stall while driving and he’s selling them for RM 10/kg and says it’s from his own orchard.

D24 Highland Durians

I selected one myself from his basket and chose the one with the most D24 characteristics:

D24 Durian Bottom

This one is green with a flat round spot in the bottom of the fruit…

D24 Durian Characteristics

…and has a classic crown with spikes growing over the short stem.

D24 Sultan

It turns out to be quite good but he has never revealed where his orchard was. It’s also a steal at RM 10/kg for this sort of quality.

Super D24 Durian

I’ve also gone for the “RM 20 for 3″ deals which is a mixture of smaller fruits of D24 Sultan, Highland D24 and Super D24.

Super D24

There’s also a couple of Durian Jantung fruits in here, which I suspect is a type of D24. I could be totally wrong on this account though, since the seeds in a Durian Jantung is small and vestigial, totally unlike any other D24 variants.

D24 Jantung

It is interesting though, to see the progression in tastes and preference – back in the days, D24 durians was the popular choice, and although it has been eclipsed by other durians now, it’s still a good choice if you want a classic and delicious durian with no frills.

5 of the best durians this season: Musang King (D197), Green Skin (D145), Tembaga (D118), XO, D7

1. Musang King (Mao Shan Wang/D197/Raja Kunyit)

Musang King

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.

D197 Musang King

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.

Raja Kunyit

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)

Green Skin

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.

Cheh Poay

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).

Green Skin Durian

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)

Durian Tembaga

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.

Tembaga Durian

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).

Tembaga

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).

D118 Durian Tembaga

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

XO Durians

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.

Durians XO

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

Durian D7

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.

D7 Green Skin Durian

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.

D7 Durian

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.

Starfruit shaped Five Star Durian and late season XO

five star durian

This is a rather distinctively shaped durian with 5 sides, like a starfruit (carambola). The seller told me it’s called “Five Star Durian”, he translated it from “mm zhi gor” (five seed fruit?). I found it rather intriguing and wanted to buy it but unfortunately it’s not for sale coz it’s unripe. I was told it’s popular in Gopeng, Perak.

It’s a huge one, this durian – 4-6 kilograms.

xo durians

I got some XO durians instead. It’s the end of the season for XO. I opened 3, and bought two. You can actually return durians you don’t like it after it’s opened. I found one too dry and replaced it. I was a little dubious about the third one and was asked to taste it.

xo durian flesh

Free tastes are common and even if it doesn’t go into the scales, they don’t actually lose from it. Durian flesh is very light compared to the husk, which is the heavy part. of the durian. XO durians are bitter and it’s one of my default buys. It has loose flesh that slides right off the seed – it’s runny and creamy with medium large seeds and little fiber.

durian xo

There is said to be an “alcoholic smell” to XO durians. That’s not right, it shouldn’t smell like ethanol, that would indicate fermentation (meaning it’s rotting). It’s more like an aftertaste – it just stays put on a bit longer, a mild alcohol-like lingering note.

durians xo

Note that this is from an ex-alcoholic with no problems with drinking neat 40% spirits straight from the bottle so my description on this may deviate (quite) far from the norm of the population bell curve especially those who thinks Islay single malts are horrendous. smirk

xo durian

I was quoted RM 12 / kg as the end of season price (as opposed to RM 8 / kg last week) – asked for RM 10 / kg and got it. I bought 2 durians for 3.2 kilograms total. It got rounded up to 3 kgs so that’s RM 30 for a few pieces. XO is one of the more expensive durian clones.

xo seed

It’s good though. It’s very bitter and there’s really nothing mystical about this – it’s named XO (after the extra old designation for cognac) but it’s not alcoholic (unless you ferment it). I can best describe it as you having a BITTER aftertaste in your mouth at the back of your tongue even hours after eating it.

XO durian season is over so if you want some late season ones, better get it now. It’s delicious! :)

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