Choosing the Best Durian with Unripened Sections

Are you looking to purchase naturally ripened durian without the use of ripening agents? Read on to discover the best way to do it!


Watch the video “Learn how to Choose Durian from a Fruit Seller with over 20 Years of Experience | Bach Hoa Xanh”

1. What is Durian? Nutritional Value of Durian

Durian, known as the “King of Fruits,” is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia. It has a strong and rich taste and is packed with nutrients. Durians are large in size, with a hard outer shell and numerous sharp spikes covering the surface.

Durian is a nutritious fruit that is high in fiber and vitamins. Its nutritional value includes:

  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 66 grams
  • Protein: 13 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Other substances: …, …, …, …

2. How to Choose the Best Durian

To ensure that you choose ripe and high-quality durians, follow these methods:

Look for Distinct Lobes

Choose durians that are round and have more lobes, as they will have more flesh and fewer empty spaces. Avoid durians with dented or misshapen appearances, as they may lack flesh or have fewer lobes.

Observe and select durians with distinct lobes. Type 1 durians have a round and even shape with 4-6 lobes or more. Type 2 durians (small or inferior durians) only have 2-3 lobes. Choose durians with 5-6 distinct and even lobes.

Choose a good durian by looking at its shape

Check for Freshness

Press the stem to feel its moisture. If it is not moist, then the durian is overripe and may have lost its desired taste and texture.

Check for freshness by pressing the stem

Examine the Spikes

Choose durians with big, firm, and evenly spaced spikes. Ripe durians will have spikes that can be pressed together without feeling too soft. Avoid durians with excessively sharp or soft spikes.

Choose durians with big, firm, and evenly spaced spikes

Shake the Durian

Gently shake and tap on the durian. If you hear a thud or knocking sound, it means the durian has thick flesh and small, sweet seeds. If you hear a hollow sound, it means the durian is not good.

Shake the durian

Smell the Aroma

Select durians with a strong and distinctive aroma, which can be smelled from a considerable distance.

Choose durians with a strong and distinctive aroma

Use a Durian Testing Tool

Durian sellers may have tools to test the quality of the durian. A good durian should produce a sound like “crack crack” or “pop pop” when tapped on its shell.

A good durian should produce a sound like

3. How to Choose Pesticide-Free Durian

Check the Spikes and Stem

Naturally ripened durians have fresh, green, and firm spikes and stems. When you press the stem, you will feel the moisture from the sap, and when you press two spikes together, they will be firm instead of soft like unripe or chemically ripened durians.

Identify durians ripened with chemicals by the spikes and stem

Look for Clear Fruit Lobe Surfaces

If you see yellowish powder on the durian shell or creamy powder on the stem, it could be residue from chemicals used for ripening. For durians with cracked shells, pressing the flesh will give you a sticky substance, indicating the presence of chemicals.

Good durian shell (right) and chemically ripened durian shell (left) have different appearances

Inspect the Flesh

Naturally ripened durians are generally easy to separate, with the flesh coming apart easily. The durian flesh will have a shiny yellow color, a rich and smooth texture, and small seeds.

Identify chemically ripened durians by looking at the flesh

Check the Aroma

Naturally ripened durians have a strong and distinctive aroma, which can be recognized from a distance. Chemically ripened durians may have a milder aroma, and sometimes almost no noticeable scent until you get close to the fruit.

4. Identifying Signs of Unripe or Low-Quality Durians

When buying durians, you need to be able to identify signs of unripe or low-quality durians. Specifically:

  • Overripe durian: The flesh attached to the stem has turned black, dark brown, or dark and is soft and mushy when touched.
  • Spoiled durian: The outer shell looks fresh and beautiful, but when cut open, the flesh at the top is white. When touched, it will feel harder than the rest of the flesh. The part of the flesh attached to the stem may also be darker. When eaten, it will taste spoiled and firm.
  • Leaking durian: When cut open, the flesh will release juice or liquid. This is due to excessive heat during transportation, causing the durian to spoil. These durians will not taste good, and the flesh will be spicy and lose its fragrance.

When buying durians, you need to be able to identify signs of unripe or low-quality durians

5. Popular Delicious Durian Varieties Today

Ri6 Durian

Ri6 durian is a well-known variety named after Mr. Sau Ri, who is considered the “father” of this fruit. Ri6 durians are extensively grown in the Mekong Delta due to the hot and humid climate. They have an oval shape, thin green-yellow skin, and a narrow base. The inner flesh is thick, sticky, yellowish, sweet, and moderately fatty.

Price range for Ri6 durians: 100,000-200,000 VND/kg

Ri6 durian

Thai Durian

Thai durians, also known as Dona durians or Monthong durians, thrive in Thailand’s hot and humid climate, similar to Ri6 durians. They have a small head and a slightly larger body. Thai durians are not as heavy as other varieties but are loved for their moderately fatty and mildly sweet flesh.

Price range for Thai durians: 65,000-100,000 VND/kg

Thai durian

Mussang King Durian

Mussang King durian originates from Malaysia. It has an oblong shape, medium size, wide spacing between spikes, and a spike-less stem. Mussang King durian has a slightly bitter and mildly sweet taste, reminiscent of avocado. The flesh is thick, small-seeded, and has a beautiful yellow color.

Price range for Mussang King durians: 500,000-650,000 VND/kg

Mussang King durian

Dona Durian

Dona durians are grown in many regions but are most commonly found in the Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands of Vietnam. They have thick, yellow flesh that is visually appealing, a strong aroma, and a sweet but not overly fatty taste. Dona durians retain their taste for a longer time compared to Ri6 durians.

Price range for Dona durians: 109,000 VND/kg

Dona durian

Buffalo Stable Durian

Buffalo stable durians are named after their tendency to be found near cattle sheds in watery areas. The flesh of buffalo stable durians is soft, melts in your mouth, moderately sweet, and slightly richer than other durian varieties. Despite their unique name, buffalo stable durians are highly favored.

Price range for buffalo stable durians: 130,000-170,000 VND/kg

Buffalo stable durian

Red-Flesh Durian

Red-flesh durians are characterized by their unique dark red flesh. The flesh is flat, small-seeded, soft and smooth, sweet, and has a chocolate-like aroma. Although unusual, this durian variety is highly popular.

Price range for red-flesh durians: 220,000-450,000 VND/kg

Red-flesh durian

Choosing good durians not only ensures a delicious taste but also ensures the safety and health of consumers. Apply these methods to choose the best durians.

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