THE hot weather has resulted in a bountiful harvest of durians in Perak. But instead of avoiding the fruit often associated with “heatiness” in this sweltering weather, durian lovers are rejoicing as the King of Fruits reigns over almost every fruit stall in sight.
With most durian sellers coming into Ipoh from other districts with their bountiful load, many Ipoh folk can be seen thronging roadside stalls to bring home a few of these thorny delights.
Best of all, durians, especially the kampung variant, are currently at its cheapest.
Durian seller Noor Natasha Abdullah, who owns a durian orchard in Chenderiang, said she would travel to Ipoh every morning to sell her durians and travel back home in the evening during the season.
“I like coming to Ipoh because there is a stronger demand here.
“I come here with a fully loaded truck everyday and return home empty,” said the 70-year-old, who has been selling durians for decades.
Her kampung durians were priced at one for RM5 and four for RM10.
Another durian seller who wished to remain anonymous was setting up his stall of kampung durians hauled in from his orchard in Padang Rengas, Kuala Kangsar.
He said a bundle of five durians was being sold for RM10.
Coconut seller Kok Tien Kew, 52, who has been selling coconut water for more than a decade, decided to start a side business of selling durians four years ago.
“Back then, I saw that it was a profitable way to earn more income, so I started planting my own durians with my friend at his orchard in Parit.
“But recently, competition with other durian sellers has been getting stiffer,” she said.
Thankfully, as her regular customers would patronise her stall for some “cooling” coconut water she was able to keep her business afloat by recommending to them some of her durians of the “Five Finger Fruit” variety, which were going for RM7 per kg.
Among the durian fanatics who were eager to savour its creamy goodness was homemaker Karen Tan, 58, who waited while her husband went about sniffing and picking the nicest ones from a stall in Taman Sri Ampang.
“Our whole family loves eating durians and we usually buy around 10 of them home for my mother, siblings and children.
“But now, because of the hot weather, we have decided to cut down because my sisters are prone to ‘heatiness’,” she told The Star.
As a remedy for it, she said they would cool their system with a pot of herbal tea or eat juicy fruits like mangosteens after taking durians.
When asked if she would consider buying durians from supermarkets as they were already packed for convenience, she said she would still prefer buying from roadside stalls.
“I think it is not only cheaper, but also fresher because I get to see the sellers cutting the fruit open on the spot.
“As for the packaged ones, I would not know how long the contents have been on sale,” said Tan, who lives in Taman Rapat Perdana.
Fellow durian lover K. Latha, 48, also said that she used to buy as many as 10 durians when her children came home to visit from Kuala Lumpur.
“They are worth buying because during the durian season, they are tasty and incredibly cheap.
“Everyone in my family loves eating durians and my friends would usually recommend good stalls to buy from,” said the mother of two.
Another durian lover Eng Pui Ssy was also purchasing durians at the stall with her mother-in-law.
“Usually, I would go around many places to scout for good stalls to buy durians.
“When I see many people crowding around a stall, then I would know for sure that they are worth buying from,” she said, adding that she used to drive by this stall everyday seeing people around it.
The 38-year-old homemaker said she decided to buy from them today because her eldest daughter has been pestering her for durians.
“She is a big fan of durians and she loves to eat as many as she can,” said the mother of four.