This new strain of durian retains its sweet and creamy centre without the overpowering odor that incites polarising reactions.
Southeast Asia’s ‘King of Fruits’ – the good ol’ durian – is no stranger to fame (or infamy, perhaps), being known for its overpowering fragrance, one that is either greatly despised or faithfully beloved.
It’s the only fruit that is completely prohibited from hotel spaces and various forms of public transport just for its natural smell that some even compare to rotting garbage, used gym socks, or worse.
Naturally, durian lovers would beg to differ, revering the dangerously thorny fruit as a delicacy. Even with such polarising reactions, durian popularity remains high, with many mainstream food items coming in durian flavour these days.
A GAME CHANGER FOR THE DURIAN
Having recently introduced a new strain of durian without its strong and pungent odour, Thailand may have made it possible for durians to get a host of new fans.
Called the Pak Chong-Khao Yai variety, growers say its flesh is soft and dry, with its signature sweet and creamy flavours. However the pungency of the fruit is much milder and less offensive to one’s olfactory receptors.
Nakhon Ratchasima, the province where this new durian is grown, recently celebrated the fruit in its first durian festival, which received geographical indication (GI) certification from the Department of Intellectual Property back in 2021.
Having GI certification means the Pak Chong-Khao Yai durian has specific characteristics and attributes that are exclusive to products from that region or area. In a way, the GI label acts as a symbol of authenticity.
The jury is still out on how this particular durian tastes, especially to the Malaysian palate, but it won’t be much longer until we know for sure once the new strain becomes available on our shores.
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