How To Spot Real Mao Shan Wang Durians

Before you burn some serious cash, here are tips from the pros on how to sniff out the real deal.

When it comes to Mao Shan Wang durians, the king of fruits should be the one getting 'chopped', not you. For those who can't tell their MSW from a D24, or are just plain cautious about potential shyster sellers, arm yourself with this guide. 

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1. Look for a distinctive star-shaped mark at the bottom of its husk
“The star mark (see above) is not exclusive to only Mao Shan Wang durians, but on a real MSW you can see it very clearly — most of the time. It has five ‘points’, which usually indicate that the durian contains flesh in five shell segments,” says Alan Chern of Mr Durian stall. Take note that a small number of MSW durians may not have this star. When in doubt, taste it (see point #3).

2. Its flesh should be a bright golden-yellow
According to Melvin Ha from Melvin’s Durian shop, “there are dishonest durian vendors passing off [inferior] Thai durians as MSW. The flesh for those are usually pale yellow or overly orange; a true MSW is golden. Its thorns are also broad.”

3. If the flavour ain’t intense, don’t part with your dollars
A good durian seller should let you sample the durian before you buy it. “You’ll know if it’s a Mao Shan Wang durian as soon as you taste it. It should be intensely bittersweet and creamy,” says Teoh See Yong of Fruits Top 1 Department Store. In other words, it should be shiok, lah.

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