How to Choose Good Durian?

Choosing ripe, fragrant, and plentiful durians is not an easy task. To avoid ending up spending much money on durians with mostly husk and only a few fleshy segments, let’s learn how to choose good durian and how to know durian is ripe.

How to Choose Good Durian

Durian (in Vietnamese: sầu riêng) is one of the top tropical fruits in Vietnam, together with jackfruit, lychee or rambutan. These are some tips on how to choose good durian I learned from my mom, my friends and my own experiences.

1. Shape: even, with distinct segments

Durian should have evenly swollen shape without any deformity. The fruit should be divided into distinct segments. It’s best not to choose durians that appear too rigid, round like an oval ball, without clear segmentations. Particularly, ripe and starting to ripe durians will have slightly cracked outer husks.

2. Number of Segments: 4-6 segments

You should choose durians with 5 – 6 clearly defined and evenly spaced segments. This is a sign that the durian has fully developed and ripened naturally.

Naturally ripe durians are usually easy to peel, and the segments can be easily separated from each other; the segments are shiny yellow, rich and creamy, with smooth and tender flesh. Conversely, durians treated with chemicals have paler yellow segments, firmer and less flavorful flesh. Typically, the segments of these durians are also harder to separate.

When a durian is naturally ripe, the tip of the fruit will crack along the longitudinal lines of the segments, making it easier for you to separate the segments. Therefore, you should check the segmentation lines at the tip of the durian to choose a good durian.

how to choose good durian

3. Spikes: Green spikes bloom large, firm, slightly rounded tips.

The spikes of the durian reflect its ripeness. If you see green spikes blooming large, firm, with slightly rounded tips, then this durian is ripe. On the contrary, if the durian spikes are dull in color and soft, you should stay away from them because these are either unripe or artificially ripened with chemicals, not tasty to eat, with a very bland and overripe taste.

A small tip to help you easily distinguish is to try squeezing two spikes of the fruit together. If they feel firm, it indicates that it is ripe, fragrant, and tasty.

4. Stem: Fresh green and firm.

Freshly harvested and naturally ripe durians have fresh green, firm stems. When lightly pressing the stem of a naturally ripe durian with your fingers, the stem area will feel slightly moist or even release some sap and emit a strong fragrance.

5. Color: Moss green or golden-tinged green husk.

Ripe and fragrant durians, ready to eat, with golden-yellow flesh and small seeds, have a husk that is moss green or tinged with golden-green. You should choose this type when buying, avoiding durians where when touched, yellowish powder residue remains, as it may indicate that the fruit has been artificially ripened using chemicals.

how to choose good durian

6. Sound: Choose fruits that make a “thumping” or “rustling” sound.

Use a durian opener to gently tap on the durian or shake it lightly in your hand to listen to the sound. If it makes a “thumping” or “rustling” sound, it indicates that the durian has thick and abundant flesh. However, if you hear a “hollow” sound, then return it to the seller! Durians that make this sound have lots of seeds and are not tasty.

Absolutely, it’s a great and quite accurate tip for choosing tasty durians. However, it’s advisable to use some tool instead of using your hands to avoid hurting them.

7. Fragrance: Naturally strong aroma.

Ripe durians will emit a distinctive, strong fragrance that can be smelled from a distance. You should rely on this criterion when choosing to purchase.

How To Select Pre-Packed Durian Flesh

Nowadays, to save the space as well as for your convenience, many supermarkets and stores sells pre-packed durian flesh only instead of a whole durian. Selecting pre-packed durian flesh requires a keen eye and a few considerations to ensure you get the best quality. Here’s a guide to help you:

1. Color

Look for durian flesh that appears creamy and vibrant in color. It should not have any signs of discoloration or browning. Avoid packs with excessive moisture or liquid, as this may indicate overripe or poor-quality fruit.

2. Fragrance

Ripe durian has a very strong aroma, which can be unpleasant to some but highly sought after by others. So, to know if the pre-packed durian is ripe, smell it. Avoid packs with an overly pungent or foul smell, as it may indicate the fruit is overly ripe or spoiled.

3. Texture

 Observe the pack to check the texture of the durian flesh. It should remain intact, shiny, and not mushy. Avoid packs with overly firm or hard flesh, as this may indicate underripe fruit.

By considering these factors, you can select pre-packed durian flesh that is fresh, flavorful, and of good quality.

How To Store Durian

After opening a durian, you’ll find the delicious yellow flesh inside. The fragrance of durian flesh is actually very strong, and it can permeate throughout your kitchen and fridge. Therefore, to store durian properly at home, always place it in an airtight container to prevent the fragrance from spreading.

Durian flesh can last at room temperature for a day. For longer storage, you can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days.

You can also freeze durian; however, once frozen, the texture might change, making it less suitable for eating raw. It’s better to use frozen durian to make ice cream or other desserts.

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