It’s official, and it’s a thing. Due to popular demand, and we do mean popular demand for the thorny fruit, the Durian, Penang now has a Festival to honour the king of all fruits.
Penang Durian Festival: a must for Durian connoisseurs
When: June to July every year
The 2 month long festival coincides with the Durian season. The seasonal nature of the fruit makes it even more special. Popular among locals and foreigners alike, there are now trips organised by tourist agents to come to Penang just to sample the fruit.
For those not familiar with the fruit, depending on who you ask, it is either the smelliest or fragrant fruit in the world due to its strong and pungent smell. The thorny fruit is green on the outside, white on the inside with separate ‘compartments’ for each of the edible segments. The edible bits are yellow covering a rather big seed. Each segment can have up to 4 seeds sometimes more.
The soft custard like flesh is sweet and creamy with an after taste that actually leaves you wanting more.
One is never enough, due to the variety and labels depending on the species, once you are hooked, you will want to try them all. Like a connoisseur of sort, every local will tell you which is the best. There is the red prawn or Ang Hae in local dialect, D16, Red Yolk or Ang Jin, Red Meat or Ang Bak, D197 Musang King, D700 and more.
Where: You can find durian in almost all the local markets and night markets. These are usually on display or in large baskets on the back of lorries. There are also stalls and shops selling nothing but durians on Jalan Burma, Jalan Macalister and Jalan Anson.
To get closer to the action, you can also sample the fruit in the Durian farms itself near Balik Pulau. Some of the farms have turned to creating private gazebos and holiday accommodations as well as nature.
What Else Is Out There: Other local fruits popular around the time of the Durian season are Nona, Langsat and Mangosteen. The latter is no family of mango but tastes just as sweet with a soft and white texture.