What Your Favourite Type of Durian Says About You

As a Singaporean, you know the durian season is here when you see vendors promoting the odoriferous melon right outside the markets. The spiky melon is the national fruit of Singapore (regardless if it’s official or not), we even have a performing arts centre shaped like a durian. Shopping for durians has gone digital since the start of the pandemic. Fresh durians can be delivered right to your doorsteps.

The tropical fruit comes with a unique aroma that some have described as gym socks. It is against the law to be carrying durians on Singapore’s public transport systems like buses and trains. The odour of the fruit is so overpowering that have caused a stir in other countries.

How much do you know about durian? I’ll be honest here, I’m not fussy about durians, I usually leave it to the durian experts to recommend. Isn’t this equivalent to the type who says “Anything” for lunch? Well, yes and no, but I can easily list out the types of durian desserts I love.

Since it’s the durian season which runs from June till August, I’ve learnt a thing or two about the types of durian, not all durians are the same. Let’s find out what your favourite type of durian reveals about yourself.

Mao Shan Wang (MSW)

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The best durian from Malaysia – Mao Shan Wang (literally means Cat Mountain King) is cultivated in Pahang and Johor. The taste is often described as bittersweet, rich and creamy. MSW is the most sought-after breed by the durian aficionados and that makes it more expensive. People who only consume Mao Shan Wang and nothing less than that are discerning in taste and always strive for the best. Let’s be honest, you are most likely to be a big spender.

Red Prawn

For the uninitiated, Red Prawn durian does not taste like prawns and it has nothing to do with the crustacean. Beneath its dusty brown husk, there are usually three to five carpels of medium-sized red-yellow coloured flesh and that is how the name was derived. Red Prawn durian originated in Penang and this breed of durian appeals mostly to the sweet tooth. Red Prawn durian is creamy and intensely sweet. There is nothing dislikeable about Red Prawn, it is easy on the palate and makes for a pleasant dessert to bond over after a family dinner. For those who find the smell of durian obnoxious, you ought to try Red Prawn.


The ones who appreciate Kopi-O Gao will agree that D24 is the perfect durian. Not overly sweet, but bitter and creamy. D24 is cultivated in Pahang and Johor, and it comes with large seeds of pale yellow flesh. Typically each husk only contains a few pieces. The purist and fitness enthusiast would recommend D24 because durian should be consumed in moderation.


Is Mao Shan Wang really the best and worth the price? The name sounds novel to the inquisitive bargain hunters but they wonder if it fits their budget. It’s all about spending wisely. They will conduct thorough research and learn that their effort is worthwhile because there is a breed of durian similar to MSW but comes at a fraction of the cost.  D101 from Johor is the most underrated breed of durians, it is comparable to Mao Shan Wang – bittersweet and custardy taste.

XO D24

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Save the most exotic for the last – the XO D24 Durian is truly one of its kind. Famed for its strong, bitter aftertaste that resembles alcohol, the XO durian is considered to be a premium type of D24 after going through an extended period of fermentation. The durian flesh has a watery texture and is paler than the average durian. It was named after XO, or Extra Old, which is a type of brandy because of its unique fermented taste. Those who love to indulge in XO durian must either be a bibulous fellow or an adventurous eater.

So which type of durian are you craving right now?

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