8 thorny questions you’ve always wanted to ask about durians, answered

, 8 thorny questions you’ve always wanted to ask about durians, answered
Photo: Mufid Majnun/Unsplash

Buying, eating and storing durians have become somewhat of an art form. Whether you are a newbie or a veteran durian lover, you’d probably have questions about the infamous King of Fruit. 

In collaboration with foodpanda, business development manager Winn from Benelux, the fruit supplier for Brightfarms (a brand exclusively available on Pandamart), answers your thorny questions you’ve always wanted to ask about durians.

, 8 thorny questions you’ve always wanted to ask about durians, answered
Photo: Jim Teo/Unsplash

1. How can I best store durians in the fridge?

The best storage method depends on how long you intend to keep your durian. If you plan on consuming over a few days, you should transfer your durian into airtight containers and store in the fridge at 2 to 5 degrees Celsius to maintain freshness. Any longer and you should store away your leftovers in the freezer for up to six months.

2. Will freezing my durians impact the quality?

Freezing is a good way to store any leftovers or keep them to eat at a later period. I love freezing mine so I can have it while waiting for the next durian season. While frozen durian will taste slightly milder in comparison, storing it properly will ensure the quality stays the same. One of my favourite ways to eat frozen durian is to wait till it’s partially thawed when it is the consistency of creamy durian ice cream.

3. What’s a quick and convenient way to get rid of durian smells, both on the body and in a confined space?

Many people may not know this, but you can actually easily prevent the smell of durian lingering. Top tip: Keep your windows open and turn on the fan when eating durian. This will let the fresh air circulate and disperse the smell in the room.

To remove any unwanted durian smells, there are a number of natural remedies using items found in the everyday pantry.

For confined spaces, the most effective method is to use vinegar to wipe down surfaces and utensils to neutralise the odours. You can also follow this with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice on a sponge for a more refreshing scent. 

Alternatively, place bowls of activated charcoal or baking soda around the house, or simmer a pot of water with aromatic spices like cinnamon sticks, gloves or ginger for a fragrant scent throughout your home.

To prevent the durian smell from sticking to your person, you should thoroughly wash your hands, face, and any other body parts that may have come into contact with the durian with soap and water. You can also rinse your hands with lemon juice or vinegar solution to neutralise odours. It can linger on your breath so be sure to brush your teeth and use mouthwash.

Remember that the smell of durian is potent and can persist for a while, so be patient and it will naturally dissipate. Meanwhile, I recommend steering away from scented lotions or perfumes which can lead to unpleasant scent combinations.

Tip: You can get these everyday pantry items delivered straight to your doorstep via Pandamart.

4. Am I able to reuse the husk instead of throwing it away?

Yes. In fact, there are many ways the husks can be reused. The strong odour of the husk can act as a natural repellent against insects and pests around your home or in the garden. For those with green fingers, the husk decomposes relatively quickly and adds nutrients to the soil, making it an easy organic fertiliser.

I’ve also seen some people get creative and use the husk for crafting purposes like decorative items, bowls, or even artistic sculptures. There are no limits to creativity.

5. How can I tell if a durian is going bad?

There are three key things to look out for. A ripe durian should have a strong, distinctive aroma. If it smells sour, rotten, or fermented, it’s likely past its prime. Check for mould or unusual discoloration on the outer skin or the flesh.The flesh of a fresh durian should be soft, creamy, and slightly moist. If it feels excessively dry or mushy, it may be going bad.

6. Can I drink alcohol and eat durian at the same time?

There is a widespread belief that combining durian with alcohol can lead to adverse reactions and even be harmful to health. While scientific evidence supporting this claim is limited, some have reported experiencing discomfort, headaches, or nausea when consuming durian and alcohol together. To be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid consuming them simultaneously.

7. What are some key things to note when buying a good quality durian?

Use your senses.

Smell: Ripe and high-quality durian should have a strong, sweet, and pleasant aroma. Avoid durians with a foul or overly pungent smell, as they may be overripe or spoiled.

Appearance: Durians should have an intact, unblemished husk. Avoid fruits with cracks, holes, or signs of mould.

Weight: A good durian should feel heavy for its size, as it indicates that it contains plenty of flesh.

Lastly, you can do a shake test! Gently shake the durian and, if you hear a slight movement inside, it is a good sign that the fruit is ripe and the flesh is separating from the husk.

Tip: Let the experts do the picking for you and enjoy your durian delivered fresh to your doorstep. Get the Brightfarms Pahang Blackgold Mao Shan Wang Durian (400g), currently on promo at $28 for a limited time only.

8. What type of durians do you recommend for people who want to start their”durian journey”?

A milder and less intense durian variety is typically a good choice. Mao Shan Wang durian is often recommended for beginners because it has a creamier and subtler taste compared to other varieties.

As you become more accustomed to the taste of durian, you can explore other varieties with stronger flavours and textures. Durian preferences are subjective, so try different types and find the one that suits your palate.