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Durian Hunting at 638 Durian Balik Pulau

Post by Chiefeater Peter Yeoh

Durian-hunting at 638 Durian Balik Pulau this afternoon. Penang’s durian plantations in Balik Pulau, in the southwest of the island, have some of the best durians in the region, if not the world.

As durian trees favour soil with good drainage, the hill-slopes of Balik Pulau, and neighbouring Teluk Bahang and Teluk Kumbar provided ideal locales for the trees to grow.

One characteristic of ripe durians is that they slowly lose their scent as they drop. Hence, the durians should ideally be consumed as soon as possible, and never stored overnight. Many breeds of Penang durians taste best within the first 5 hours after they drop.
Penang durians are never plucked or harvested, but allowed to ripen fully and drop by themselves. So, a visitor needs to time one’s visit carefully, in order to coincide with the durian’s ripen-and-drop pattern.

Penang’s annual durian season falls between May and July, although one should also check with each of the plantations’ owners on the exact timing to visit for the different breeds of durians they have on their plantations. Each durian plantation will usually keep a pretty accurate timetable on when they’d expect each of their durian breeds to drop.
We managed to sample 4 good varietals today:

XO - pale-coloured, thick bitter flesh with a tinge of alcoholic fermentation.

Cher Phoay (Green Skin) - the durian has a trademark green skin, sporting a trademark a yellow spot. Its flesh is yellow-hued, with a very thick and creamy, almost sticky in texture, and bitter-sweet in flavour.

Hor Lor - so-called as the durian fruit’s elongated shape, tapering slightly in the middle. The durian flesh is very fine-textured and smooth, with a pronounced sweet flavour.

Ang Jin - sweet, creamy-fleshed durian, with a slight orange hue. Its genre is a sub-varietal of Ang Bak Khun Poh.

Editor's Note

They only open when durian is in season.

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