Nuanthongchan Durian is the new Chanthaburi Superstar you should know about, because this fusion of deliciousness might just change the world of Thai Durians.
Video Tour of Nuantongchan Farm
About the Nuanthongchan Durian
Nuanthongchan (the family spells it Nuantongchan in English, no “h,” but for standardization purposes we’re going with the “h”) is a hybrid durian, created purposefully by crossing the pollen and flowers of a Monthong (Daddy Tree, it has an “h” in the name) with Puangmanee (Mommy Tree).
The durian looks and tastes like both of them and also like something entirely new.
Overall, it’s a much bigger durian than Mom in every way.
In size, Puangmanee rarely tips 1.5 kg, while Nuanthongchan sits comfortably at 2 – 2.5kg.
While the flesh of Puangmanee is typically thin and dry to the point the seed sometimes shows through, Nuanthongchan has thick, soft, and abundant flesh like Monthong Dad.
But it’s got Puangmanee’s egg-yolk golden flesh and caramel-sweet, burnt sugar and butter flavor.
Basically, if you wished you could take a big, luscious, abundant mouthfuls of Puangmanee, you will fall in love with Nuanthongchan.
It’s the durian you’ve been dreaming of: all the flavor and creamy texture in a satisfying, hefty, dessert-like bite.
The History of Nuanthongchan Durian
The mother tree of Nuanthongchan still stands at Suan Nuantongchan Orchard in the northern part of Khlung District.
Suttep Nopphun planted it 38 years ago, in a time of desperation. It had been raining for weeks and his durian crop was ruined. He was 13 million baht in debt, and looking for solutions.
Khun Suttep was born into a family planting Chanee and a few Kop varieties on a 100-acre mixed farm with rubber, rambutans, and oranges.
But because rambutans only earned about 1.5 baht per kilo in the old days, and then the rubber market crashed, the family slowly grew more and more durian until by 1981 durian was the predominant family business.
So the rains of 1981 were ruinous. The Chanee flesh turned watery and sour, the shell of the fruit soggy, impossible to send to market in Bangkok without spoilage.
By then, K. Suttep was in charge of the family farm. He’d begun planting Monthong, as instructed by local authorities, but found that Monthong was too fragile, its trees sprouting diseases and brittle branches.
Earlier, Mr. Nopphun had visited a Chanthaburi Durian Festival where he’d purchased a tree of Puangmanee. It was a sturdy little tree, impervious to rain and disease, and the flesh was a gorgeous, rosy salmon.
Mr. Nopphun decided he needed to make a new tree – one that was as fleshy and marketable as Monthong, but as tough and beautiful as Puangmanee.
So in 1982, when the durian trees flowered again, he paid a local pollinator to take the pollen of Monthong and dab it onto the flowers of his one Puangmanee tree.
Later, when the Puangmanee tree made fruits, he planted their seeds.
He planted around 10 Puangmanee x Monthong crosses, but ultimately chose only one.
Today, only 1 of those 10 trees is still standing, and it’s the 38-year-old mother tree of Nuanthongchan.
His daughter, , is active on Facebook selling Nuanthongchan by mail order.
How to Identify Nuanthongchan
Nuanthongchan, being a hybrid of Monthong and Puangmanee, has characteristics of both of its parents.
The skin is more green than Monthong, with the same rounded “nose” and brown star on the bottom as Puangmanee.
But it’s also a heavily lobed durian, just like Monthong, and is more difficult to open than Puangmanee with a thick, hard inner core like Monthong.
So in shape, it has more in common with Monthong than Puangmanee, but inside, it’s like Puangmanee on steroids.
Cut Vs Tree-Dropped Nuanthongchan
Mr. Suttep’s favorite durian is, of course, his own Nuanthongchan.
But he prefers to cut it, Thai-style, when the durian flesh isn’t so messy and the taste is sweet, almost like a butterscotch frosting. Cut Nuantongchan is much more like a heavy cream frosting than when it’s been tree-dropped, with a thick, silky smooth texture that would be just awesome chilled.
When it’s tree-fallen, it tends to get a little bit more like a pudding or fall-apart texture, like it’s Daddy Monthong.
Find Suan Nuantongchan Orchard
You can order Nuanthongchan Durian directly from Suan Nuantongchan on their Facebook Page.
The farm is located in the northern part of Khlung District in Chanthaburi, so far north you would think you’d be in Makham already but you’re not.
You can find it on this map, or in our Durian Season App.