Monday, October 22, 2012

Sarawak Durians - King of Asian Fruits

In the glorious days of real durians in the real hills of Sarawak....many elders would say they had eaten the best of the durians of Sarawak ...

It is hard these days to "choose" durians by smell, by the thorns,  by the trees, by anything or by any have to be quite an expert. (However you have the excellent alternative of buying just the durian without the thorny skins in the supermarket at really high prices!!)

Most people prefer to know the "tree" like what my father used to do...He would go to Kampong Nangka in Sibu and look for Haji whose mother's trees had the best durians in the whole of the then small Sibu town.

And still today when you buy from some kampong folks...they would tell you "these durians are from my mother's trees..and I am not lying..."

In other parts of Sarawak like in Miri where durains come from as far away as Kuching or even have to ask..where are these durians from?

Many of the fruit vendors would say..."These are from Serian" (another well known durian producing place in Sarawak)...or "These are from Long Lama..."

Years ago in Sibu as active youths we waited for the evening motor launches from Kapit. where some of the best Sarawak durians were found in the 60's..and baskets and baskets of durians would be taken up the wharf to be sold along the temporary sheds built just for the year end fruit season...and some folks made a large fortune out of that. And nights in Sibu would be really different for a season.

Today many Chinese farmers in Kapit are still bringing their best durians to their favourite politicians in Kuching. Some will certainly keep some for their own children and relatives. If you have some such friends it is always a good reason to cultivate some durian based friendship. A very good durian tree can bear up to 600 good fruits.

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