Sarawak’s local durians are gaining popularity among people from the peninsula as well as foreigners.
Most of the durians were planted in Pasir Pandak, Padawan, Serian and Santubong, and tasted different from those in the peninsula or those imported from Thailand, said durian vendor Saffari Salleh, 40.
“The taste is different as the flesh is thicker and not so watery,” he said at the weekend market at Jalan Satok.
He said the local durians were well received by durian lovers because the growers did not use any chemical fertiliser thus making the durians thicker and sweeter.
Saffari added that durians were the biggest attractions for tourists at the market.
“There are even some Semenanjung people who return to buy the durians after tasting them. For tourists, they normally try the fruits at the stall and love the taste because the smell is not so strong,” he said.
Saffari said durians were more expensive during the low season with the price ranging between RM7 and RM40 per fruit, adding that the expensive ones were the tembaga grade - the colour of its flesh is similar to copper.
However, in most places durians are sold at a cheaper price during the peak season. It is normally sold in a pile of three, four or five fruits at RM10 per pile depending on the grade.
Saffari, who has been in the durian business for 25 years, said the durian season was usually at the end of the year. However, some of the durian trees were already bearing fruit but the stock was limited, therefore prices are more expensive at this time.
“We can sell 500 durians daily during the low season due to limited stock. However, during the peak season, we can easily sell 1,000 to 3,000 durians daily,” he said.
According to Saffari, the best quality durians are from Pasir Pandak and Santubong because the trees were planted on red soil along the foothills near the rivers.
Pasir Pandak is a cosy fishing and durian village about 45-minute drive from Kuching on the way to Santubong.
Saffari said Serian was also well-known for its durians, which are believed to be the best in Sarawak. There is a giant durian monument right in the middle of the market square.
Serian town is the capital of the Serian District in Sama-rahan Division and it is located about 65km from Kuching. — Bernama
The Serian town is very famous for its durians., which are popularly believed to be the best in Sarawak. This has prompted the Serian District Council to erect a giant monument to this "king of fruits" right in the middle of the market square. However, other monuments such as the tiger and the buffalo statues seem out of place as there are no tigers or buffalos in this district. The town is very well connected to its rich hinterland both by road and by water and thus one can find all sorts of jungle produce available in the jungle produce market but lately, most of these produce were brought in from Kalimantan, Indonesia as the price are cheaper.