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4 tips for organising a durian party

There’s no better way to enjoy the king of the fruit than with friends. Here’s how you can throw a soiree that everyone can remember.

When sampling durians, start with the lighter-tasting breeds, such as D101 before moving on to the creamy ones. Photo: Dr Leslie Tay

Love it or hate it, the durian season is in full swing. For every person who cowers in horror at its first whiff, a dozen others probably have no qualms about getting their hands dirty with the king of fruit. And what better way to enjoy the durian than to have a party with friends?

General practitioner Dr Leslie Tay, who runs popular food blog, ieatishootipost, has been running his own durian party for the past three years. Dr Tay’s party, which he calls a durian degustation, is basically a gathering of durian lovers who come together to savour the season’s best breeds in a set course and be educated on the various cultivars.

This year’s party, which will be held on Saturday (Jul 25), also include 50 beneficiaries from Wecare Marine Parade, an addiction recovery centre.

Here are some tips on how you can organise yours:

1. Pick a good and honest seller

In the perfect world, every durian seller would be trustworthy enough to offer you the choicest picks at honest prices but that’s not always the case.

We hear that Long Tee Fruit Trader has a solid reputation among locals for selling only quality durians. The stall owner, Mr Leong, has apparently rejected baskets of the fruit which were not up to his standards. Such dedication is worth a visit, we say.

Ah Seng durian, with no less than 18k likes on Facebook, is another durian seller known for its business ethics — unsold durians are dehusked and frozen at the end of each day, so you can be reassured their durians are never kept overnight and resold.

Whole durians do not keep well overnight, which is why it is important to freeze the fruit’s flesh before the day is over to preserve freshness. This way, you’ll get to enjoy durians at their best when thawed.

For a list of reputable sellers, check out Dr Tay’s blog.

2. Prepare logistics in advance

At your party, make sure that there are enough newspapers to lay your durians on. Photo: Dr Leslie Tay

As with any party, keep the logistics in mind so that you never get flustered even with durians in sight.

If you’re holding your own party, whether in the comfort of your kitchen or a community area, be sure to have sufficient newspapers to lay your durian shells on, says Dr Tay.

Have plastic gloves ready for your guests, or simply prepare wet wipes for the ones who prefer to lick their fingers. If you’re partying far away from your favourite durian stall, have a knife on hand in case the durian shell refuses to bulge, he adds.

3. Know your durians

Can you tell the difference between D24 and D13? While you can simply pick a bunch of your favourite durians and dig in, there is much pleasure in appreciating various breeds of durians, course by course, seed by seed.

It would be best if you had the guidance of a knowledgeable durian seller, but for those who do not have a luxury, here is a sequence recommended by Dr Tay.

Much like enjoying a fine cheese platter, start with the lighter breeds such as D101 which is sweet and easy on the palette before moving onto the thick and creamy D24. Afterwards, intoxicate your tastebuds with the aromatic (and some say pungent) durians such as Mao Shan Wang.

For your grand finale, you can opt for the XO durian, known to be the most bitter and pungent breed of all. And for a general rule of thumb, the usual must-tries include Mao Shan Wang, Golden Phoenix, Green Bamboo and XO.

Also read: Make your own durian egg tart

4. Remove all evidence

We know the party only ends when the last durian husk gets wiped clean, but don’t forget to clear the mess! Unless you want eau de durian in your home, we suggest bundling the husks up in newspaper and trash bags before leaving them neatly beside the bins under your block.

To get rid of the durian smell on your fingers and breath, fill the hollows of a leftover shell with water and rinse it over your hands and mouth. For a better deodorising finish, scrap your fingers on the insides too. Finally, prepare some lightly salted water in a husk and drink up! We hear that helps to get rid of any leftover stench.

By Samantha Francis

Long Tee Fruit Trader

264 Tanjong Katong Road Singapore 437051, Singapore

Opening hours: 2:00PM to 10:00PM

Ah Seng durian

Blk 150A Ghim Moh Temporary Market #01-64, Singapore

Opening hours: 1:30PM to 8:30PM