It’s not a stretch to say that durian season has become one of the few joys Malaysians get to experience in these uncertain times. But as all good things come to an end, the fruiting season finale is approaching — and quickly — whether we like it or not. As such, it’s only appropriate to have a proper durian feast to bid (a temporary) farewell to the King of Fruits.
If the popular Musang King and D24 have been your exclusive selections this season, perhaps it’s time to explore other lesser-known but no less delicious varieties to lengthen your durian check list.
Biji Bumi Durian, an offshoot of tourism-based social enterprise Native, works with Orang Asli growers to distribute a variety of kampung durians harvested from centuries-old forests in Hulu Selangor. The fruits are 100% organic as the Temuan people have tended to the land and trees with traditional cultivation skills and knowledge passed down through generations.
Every year come fruiting season, the bounty serves as an opportunity for the villagers to make extra income. But with the pandemic in full swing, setting up stalls would’ve done more harm than good. Going online provided the durians exposure to a wider audience, at the same time allowing people to get acquainted with the indigenous group who grows them.
While popular opinion claims that kampung or forest durians are mediocre at best, Biji Bumi Durian’s offerings have garnered high praise from many devotees and new fans along the way.
At the time of writing, five different kinds of durians are available on site, with each boasting its own unique colour, flavour profile, shape and smell. The Durian Bukit — a fragrant, creamy and sweet option — is the variety that grows more abundantly in Hulu Selangor. Customers have the option to purchase it in 10kg boxes or deshelled in 400g packs.
Adventurous tasters should check out Biji Bumi Durian’s rare finds, which are only available in limited quantities. Distinguished by its sunny yellow flesh, Durian Matahari is sweet and creamy with a slightly bitter profile akin to the D101. For those looking for something similar to D24, Durian Atuk Atuk, the original variant grown naturally in the forests, is your best bet.
Durian Susu has a milder flavour profile and is milky instead of creamy, which will suit those who prefer their fruit less overpowering. On the other hand, durian lovers who appreciate distinct and strong flavours can try Durian Petai, which possesses a slight liquor-ish sensation and bitter aftertaste that resembles XO variants.
To encourage sustainability, the deshelled durians are all packed fresh in compostable containers that can be used as pots to plant your own trees at home. Firstly, wash off any remaining durian flesh and soak the seeds in water for three days. Then, plant the seeds in soil using the containers and keep it away from direct sunlight. Finally, transfer the sapling along with the container into a bed of soil and let Mother Nature take over.
To purchase Biji Bumi Durians, see here.