“Sweet or not ah?”
That’s the main question on people’s minds when it comes to buying fruits.
Apples, oranges, grapes — you name it, and most people yearn for the sweetest and the juiciest. But what if sweets just aren’t your thing? Perhaps you’re more of a dark chocolate, kopi o kosong kind of person?
Well, it’s a good thing that durians come in a diverse range of species, each with its own unique flavour profile. While there are varieties known for their sweetness, there are also plenty of popular and lesser-known types that boast bittersweet yet creamy textures.
If you’re someone without a sweet tooth, there’s definitely a durian that will satisfy your palate. Read on to find out our top picks for not-so-sweet durians!
Mao Shan Wang isn’t known as the king of all durians for no good reason. With a name that literally means ‘cat mountain king’, this beloved durian is famous for its robust, bittersweet taste and oh-so-smooth texture.
It’s a great starter durian for those new to the king of fruits too. Rich, creamy, and bold, you can never go wrong with choosing Mao Shan Wang for intense durian flavours that aren’t overly sweet.
Before Mao Shan Wang took the throne, D24 once reigned supreme.
Also known as the Sultan King, D24 is still a popular variety that is often used to make durian desserts such as ice cream, cakes, cream puffs and more.
And don’t let its pale appearance fool you. D24 durians have thick, creamy flesh with perfectly balanced flavours — not too sweet and not overpoweringly bitter.
3. Black Thorn
Black Thorn is a relatively new entrant in the durian world, but it has already risen to become a fan-favourite.
Not one for the faint of heart, this durian will give you an intense experience with bitter flavours, occasionally even with a slightly alcoholic aftertaste.
If you’re trying to spot Black Thorn durians, just look out for the tell-tale thorny black tip at the fruit’s base!
Next on our list is D88. Known for its dry, fibrous texture, this meaty fruit will give you your bang for your buck as it has a proportionally high flesh-to-seed ratio.
Expect bitter flavours with a mild hint of sweetness finished with a slightly alcoholic aftertaste.
5. Old Lady
Despite its controversial name, rest assured that Old Lady durians don’t look (or taste…?) like old ladies.
They have a faint bittersweet flavour and distinctly creamy flesh that you can savour in big mouthfuls, as this cultivar often comes with small seeds.
Last but not least, we have the Yellow Dragon breed, which is quite a rare gem. Due to its limited supply, you won’t see this often in durian retail stores.
However, it is well-loved by durian fans for its strong bitter taste. If you love your coffee or tea black, then this is the durian for you.
From bitter to sweet, rich to pungent, every durian has its own unique flavour that appeals to different taste buds. If you’re unsure of which durians you might like, don’t hesitate to reach out to us — we’ll be more than happy to recommend species that will satisfy your needs.