Heatwave not a deterrent for true durian lovers

Tasty treat: Customers taking their pick at a durian stall in Taman Sutera Utama, Johor Baru. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: Malaysians are not letting the scorching weather come between them and their durians, which are known to induce “heatiness.”

Many are still snapping up the King of Fruits in large quantities, including babysitter Nurul Syahira Ismail, who is looking forward to the durian season.

“I go to my regular stall in Taman Sutera Utama as they have ‘buy one, get one free’ deals and I can bring home up to 10 durians.

“The current hot weather will not stand between me and my durians. I usually get my family to drink saltwater after a durian feast to reduce the heatiness.

“It is a practice taught by my mother,” said the 39-year-old.

Businessman Peter Ho, 50, also took advantage of the ongoing school holidays to shop for durians with his teenage sons.

“They have been asking me to take them for durians since last week. But the weather was too hot for us to eat it at the stall, so we decided to bring them home.”

Stall operator Chew Chye Chooi, who has been farming and selling durians for over 20 years, says he can sell about eight tonnes a day.

“Our durians are usually harvested in mid-June but the season came early this year due to the unstable weather.

“They arrived in the final week of May, which is a welcome coincidence as it was also the school holiday,” he said.

Durian species with small seeds such as D13, D2 and D88 were popular among customers, he added.

Han Sing Kean, who has a durian orchard in Kulai, said his harvest had dropped by about 80% this year due to the weather.

“The durians at my farm are usually in abundance from May to July but the increased rainfall late last year and early this year destroyed the flowers.

“My peers in south Johor such as Kulai, Pontian and Kota Tinggi were all affected by this as durian trees need the sun and rain at the right time to properly thrive and flower,” he said.

Lim Kim Thiam, a farm owner from Jementah, Segamat, said this season’s durians might be of lower quality due to the weather.

“With El Nino forecast to take place, it will definitely affect the quantity and quality of the next durian season, which is in August,” he said.

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durian , weather , heatwave


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