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.
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.