12 Types of Durians and How to Pick the Best Durian

12 Types of Durians and How to Pick the Best Durian
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From bittersweet to creamy rich flavours, there’s a durian for every palate. Here’s the different types of durian you can find and how you can learn to pick the best King of Fruits.

Durian season is upon us! There’s no better way to enjoy the King of Fruits than cracking open the thorny shell to reveal the bright yellow, fleshy fruit. Fortunately, these days you no longer have to travel far to other parts of Southeast Asia to get the tastiest durians.

Malaysia is one of the most popular durian exporters thanks to its well-cultivated durians, and it has approximately 100 varieties of the pungent fruit. Among so many durians, do you know the popular ones? Plus, how do you really pick the freshest durian?

This is why we’ve put together an ultimate guide to the 12 popular types of durians from Malaysia and tips on picking the freshest, ripest King of Fruits:

12 Types of Durians And How To Choose The Best Durian

Types of Durian

TypeTasteSourceRarity
D101Mildly sweet, buttery
JohorCommon
D13Fragrant, sweet, stickyJohorCommon
TekkaSweet, floralPahangRare
D24 SultanBittersweet, creamyPahangCommon
Golden PhoenixSharp, bitter
JohorUncommon
D1Mildly sweet
JohorCommon
Mao Shan WangBitter, creamy, stickyPahangCommon
Black PearlSlightly bitter, creamyJohorRare
Black ThornIntense, bitterPenangVery Rare
D17Fairly bitter, softJohorUncommon
Red PrawnSweetPenangCommon
Hor LorMildly sweetPenangUncommon

1. D101

D101 Durian

The D101 durian packs layers of gentle flavours that’s mildly sweet and buttery with slightly sour notes. D101 is a common favourite for many durian lovers and children who prefer indulging in sweet durians!

2. D13

D13 Durian

Known as a ‘kampung’ breed, the D13 durian is another household favourite. With its bright orange flesh and sweet, fragrant taste, D13 is a delicious sticky treat for those who enjoy less pungent flavours.

3. Tekka

Tekka Durian

If you’re a true durian connoisseur, the rare Tekka durian is a must-try. It might not be the most aesthetically-pleasing with its pale yellow flesh and irregular shaped seeds, but it surely makes up for it in the taste department. Tekka durian’s complex sweet, floral, and bitter flavours make it a highly-raved variant for those who have tasted it!

4. D24 Sultan

D24 Sultan Durian

Like the popular Mao Shan Wang, D24 Sultan is also one of the most famous and loved durians. Striking a good balance between sweet and bitter flavours, the D24 Sultan is also smooth and creamy with hints of alcoholic notes. Hard to go wrong with this one!

5. Golden Phoenix

Golden Phoenix Durian

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, go for the uncommon Golden Phoenix durian instead. It has a sharp and bitter taste completed with pale, watery yellow flesh, and has a more pungent smell. Golden Phoenix is more of an acquired taste, so if you’re new to durians, you might want to go easy on this one!

6. D1

D1 Durian
Photo by: Alan Lim / Her World

The D1 durian is milky and sweet. The flesh is slightly crunchy on the surface, but will slip off the seeds with ease. If you’re just starting out, D1 durian is one to try!

7. Mao Shan Wang

Mao Shan Wang Durian

A fitting name for the King of Fruits, Mao Shan Wang literally means Cat Mountain King. Appearing in endless delicacies like ice cream, pastries, and even coffee, the Mao Shan Wang durian is undoubtedly one of the most beloved durians. Its bittersweet and rich, custardy texture will definitely get you hooked!

8. Black Pearl

Black Pearl Durian

As its name suggests, the Black Pearl durian is characterized by its small, pearl-like seeds and petite exterior husk. Slightly bitter and milky tasting, the rare Black Pearl durian is a milder variant suitable for those who prefer a less surfeiting taste!

9. Black Thorn

Black Thorn Durian
Photo by: Year of The Durian

One of the higher-grade durians, the extremely rare Black Thorn durian changes the game with its intense, bitter flavours and custardy orange-red flesh. If you love the Mao Shan Wang, the Black Thorn durian is definitely a must-try too – if you can get your hands on it!

10. D17

D17 Durian
Photo by: Year of The Durian

The D17 durian has a soft and smooth pale flesh. Although not overwhelming, the D17 leans more towards a bitter taste. If you prefer milder but still aromatic flavours, D17 is the pick for you!

11. Red Prawn

Red Prawn Durian

The Red Prawn durian stands out from the rest of the variants with its unique bright orange flesh. It has a dense and creamy texture coupled with a sweet taste and a tinge of bitterness. Perfect for you if you want to try a sweet durian that’s different from the rest!

12. Hor Lor

Hor Lor Durian
Photo by: Year of The Durian

The Hor Lor durian has an elongated shape – very much like its name in Hokkien (a gourd). This durian is another pick for people who prefer a less overwhelming flavour. The uncommon Hor Lor has ivory-coloured flesh with mild flavours and notes of sweetness, making it easily palatable!

How To Pick The Best Durian

Now that you’ve learnt how to tell apart the different types of durians, you’ll also have to know how to pick the crème de la crème to indulge in your ultimate durian feast!

#1 How to Check Durians For Freshness?

According to 99 Old Trees, you should check for dryness of the stem and large cracks (hairline cracks are normal!), as these are usually indicators that the durian is old. So if a durian’s stem is dry and there are large cracks in its husks, you should pick another one.

#2 How to Check Durians For Ripeness?

99 Old Trees also says that in order to identify a ripe durian, simply listen for a knocking sound when you shake it. When a durian is ripe, the seed will loosen from the shell, thus creating a knocking sound. Another factor to note is the weight of the durian. A ripe durian will always be lighter than an unripe one!

For a durian-tasting fit for a king, check out 99 Old Tree’s unique SukaWa Durian Omakase for an experience unlike any other. For SGD $60 per person, you’ll be able to savour different types of durians, with unlimited portions of the beloved Mao Shan Wang or D24 durian.

These delicious durians originate from outside of Singapore, so if you decide to embark on a quest to taste them at their source, don’t forget to bring your YouTrip card to utilise YouTrip’s Wholesale Exchange Rates for favourable currency exchange rates!

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