The hot and humid month of June is usually uncomfortable with the strong sun burning everything to a crisp and the air so sticky that you feel like showering as soon as you step back into your house. The only bright spot about June is that it's durian season
! Makeshift stalls start to sprout like mushrooms at nearly every street selling pile loads of durians. I adore durians. While C gags at the smell of it, I love its sweet, custard-y taste; it goes with my giant sweet tooth, the sweeter it is, the better. Although I'm not that big a fan of the mildly alcoholic or bitter tasting ones (an acquired taste), I still love it because of the strong durian flavour.
So I was brimming with enthusiasm when our friends found a durian orchard
that did ... yes, you guessed it, durian tasting sessions! The idea was that you'd pay a fee ranging from RM15 - RM20 and you could eat all the fruit you wanted. The orchard has durians
(of course!), rambutans
- all of which was my favourite.
C was really sporting enough to tag along even though he doesn't eat any of the fruits there. We were all laughing so hard when he brought his dinner of buns and bak zhang (meat dumpling).
Located at Gertak Sanggul, it's quite a drive away from town and you're greated with lush greenary, tiny roads and pre-war houses that still had name boards on the main door of each house. The name of the durian orchard owner's house is Qing He (Clear River) which was quite enchanting as it's just next to a stream which has water flowing directly from the hill behind his house.
Huge tree brimming with a mixture of greenish, semi ripe rambutans (which Jo went nuts for) and bright red, ripe rambutans that were really sweet. The Durian Uncle was a good sport and allowed us to pluck the fruits ourselves.
The back of the orchard. Plants, plants and followed by more plants. We were feasting on the durians around 6.30pm and that was probably the mosquitoes feeding time as well. Amazingly, they left the Durian Uncle well alone and choose us instead.
We thought these were just different sizes of the same durian. Durian Uncle then proceeded to open each one up with an explanation of the different varieties. The names were just as widely varied as the taste of the durians, there was 600, phua chiu chee ("half a finger", not related at all to Phua Chu Kang), bak eww (pork lard), 916, lao kampong and the most expensive one was "ang heh" (red prawn)
Durian Uncle's skills at his best - look at him grasping the thorny husks with his bare hands.
We were eating nothing but fruits for 2 full hours. We ended up being so full (with the exception or poor C) that we just skipped dinner.