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klyeoh | Aug 1, 201306:40 AM     11

It's here again - the durian season: that's when pop-up stalls emerge all over Malaysian cities: Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Johore Bahru, Malacca, etc., all offering that super-pungent thorny fruit which encased orbs of delicious custardy flesh inside.

In the West, most folks simply *cannot* stand the strong scent which ripe durians emit. Over here in Malaysia and Singapore, we salivate! :-)

Malaysians and Singaporeans like their durians soft-fleshed and extra-pungent, whilst Thais liked their durians semi-ripe, semi-hard fleshed, and with a less assertive smell.

I liked all kinds of durians - the Thai "Monthong", "Chanee" and "Karnyao", the Malaysian "Musang King", "Red Prawn", "D24". I find Vietnamese durians just passable, whilst Indonesian durians were the pits - scentless, bland and tasteless.

Singapore imports its durians mainly from Malaysia: Johore, Pahang and Penang states produce the best durians - brightly lit-up pop-up stalls lined the streets of Geylang and other parts of the island to cater to the hungry masses. Thai durians are also available in supermarkets - expensive, and favoured by Japanese expats who're adjusting to the extreme pungency of Malaysian durians.

Durians are banned from public vehicles in Singapore, and most public buildings and all hotels. The same rules exist in Malaysia but less enforcement in place compared to Singapore.

I had my durian fix today: bought 4 durians of various species from a pop-up stall along Old Klang Road. Consumed them 2 hours ago, but the smell still remained in my apartment, as it will for the next 3 days. But it's all *worth it*!

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