Do you miss durian season?
Because we sure do.
Durian season this year was unlike any other. With health measures and community restrictions, durian feasts were enjoyed at home while online orders for durians skyrocketed like never before.
However, have you ever wondered what went on behind the scenes?
The King of Fruit is a marvel. But behind the juicy flavour and smooth texture is a lot of hard work, careful and strategic planning, as well as efficient harvesting. All that and more are performed at durian plantations – the birthplace of the ever-loved King of Fruit.
While spatial constraints have hindered the possibility of durian cultivation in Singapore, there are numerous plantations scattered across Southeast Asia. Those durian plantations are where the magic happens!
Ever wanted to know what it was like inside durian plantations? Well, you’re in luck. We’ll be illustrating how durians are grown, harvested and transported to Singapore from our very own plantation.
Plus, we’ll be sharing some sneak peeks of our hardworking team at work.
Step 1: Grow the Durian Trees
As the saying goes, the tiniest seeds can grow the mightiest of trees. Durian seeds might be small at first glance, but the trees in which they grow to become are majestic.
Durian trees grow best on steep terrains as well as rich and well-drained sandy areas with a pH level of 6-7 (slight acidic to neutral). They are typically planted from November to Mid-January in holes of around 0.6 m – that’s about the length of an average human being’s legs!
Each hole is spaced about 6-16 m apart and given temporary shade during the first year.
Like other plants, they need to be hydrated regularly. We use micro-sprinklers to ensure they get the moisture they need.
Typically, most durians start to bear fruit only after 3-5 years. That’s right; everyone’s beloved Mao Shan Wang takes years to produce!
Ah, harvesting – this is the stage where we investigate and assess the fruits of our labour (literally!).
Durians are usually cut with a knife or long end of the pole. Otherwise, they drop naturally on their own – for this reason, we ensure our durian plantations observe proper safety precautions to prevent any accidents.
How do you tell a ripe durian from a stale one?
Well, there should be a pleasant smell. The seed should also move when you shake the durian. On the other hand, over-ripen durians might have a sour and overwhelming smell.
Since all fruits are cut open only upon confirmation of orders from our customers, our durian experts pay close attention to these signs at the plantation. They send only the cream of the crop back to our store in Singapore.
Step 3: Send Them to the Lion City
Like we mentioned earlier, Singapore has no durian plantations. Thus, all stocks have to be imported.
Thankfully, our durian plantation is only across the causeway, so once our on-site team consolidates the fresh durians, they are transported by van from Malaysia to Singapore.
To accommodate our ever-growing number of same-day delivery requests, we have our vans deliver fresh durians every day.
This is probably the most exciting part for customers, especially those who visit our physical store, as they get to witness our team cut and unveil the fresh durian flesh.
Once an online order comes in, our team will open the fresh durians and assess the quality of the fruit before packing them neatly into boxes. After which, they are delivered to our customers’ homes or collected in person.