Oh July, you never fail to disappoint when it comes to durian. It’s the height of the season in Peninsular Malaysia, but surprisingly, it’s not just the Malaysians and Singaporeans working themselves into their annual durian frenzy. Durian love is going international! Here’s this month’s round up of durian in the news.
First up is the topic of Durian Wine. That’s right – despite the widely held belief that combining durian and alcohol leads to certain death, researchers at the University of Singapore have created a wine made entirely of durian that ranks at about 6% alcohol. It’s made headlines all over the world, including at the Huffington Post, Time, ABC News, and the New York Daily News.
Read more at any of the above links.
|Researchers celebrate. Image taken from the News Straits Times|
The durian craze seems to be spreading beyond Southeast Asia. A durian vendor in New York City’s Chinatown was featured in the New York Times this month. Apparently, durian business in New York City comes with the same tendency toward shady dealings as in Singapore, where the fruit is also a coveted high price commodity. This is something that we will definitely have to check out.
Read more at the New York Times.
On a darker note, a woman was found dead in a durian orchard in Balik Pulau, Penang. She is believed to have been murdered somewhere else and then dumped in the orchard, where she was discovered in the morning by a worker out collecting the morning’s harvest.
Read more at The Sun Daily
Penang is still the durian darling of Malaysia, and this summer more than 800 Hong Kong durian fanatics sojourned to Penang exclusively to eat durian. They purchased tour packages offered by the Malaysian Tourism Board. Called “Durian Deluxe,” the tour packages offer a 4 day, 3 night, all-you-can-eat tour of Penang’s durian orchards and stalls. Altogether, the groups paid more than $400,000 USD for their tours. It’s a pretty sweet way to cash in on the durian frenzy.
Read more at TTG Asia
Since opening it’s borders to Malaysian durian, China is aquiring a growing taste for the fruit. This month, shoppers at the Parkson Shopping Centre in Beijing enjoyed their first all-you-can-eat durian festival. I don’t think that the USA or Australia has ever hosted a public durian festival, so this is pretty cool.
Read more at The Star
Lastly, but not least, a nursery near Kuching is claiming that a Thai variety called D123, or Chanee, is bearing fruit all year round. If true, this could change the face of durian across Borneo as farmers hoping to cash in on out of season durian exchange their old trees for Chanee. We’re hopefully skeptical.
Read more at The Borneo Post
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