DIY Durian Degustation
After reading about ieat‘s Durian Degustation sessions (1, 2), I was really tempted to go for one of these durian-sampling expeditions as well, but somehow I wasn’t really interested in meeting all those new people, so I decided to try and get a bunch of friends together to sample different breeds of durian on our own. Not much of a durian connoisseur, I did try to prepare myself for the session by reading online, and found a handy online durian guide. It’s actually near the end of durian season already, and the shop near my house was only selling the two more popular varieties, but Xianna and Weiyi managed to get three more types from Geylang.
For S$160 split between eight people ($20 per pax), we ended up trying five varieties – D24 (aka Sultan), 猫山王 (Mao Shan Wang, aka Cat Mountain King), 红虾 (Hong Xia, aka Red Prawn), 青竹 (Qing Zhu, aka Green Bamboo) and the mysteriously labelled D666. Google seems to indicate that the D666 is in fact the same as the Mao Shan Wang breed, but the ones we had were clearly not the same thing. The characteristics of the breeds can be quite easily found online (like in the previously-linked online guide), so none of us took notes as was jokingly suggested.
My favourites ended up being D24 and Mao Shan Wang, which also happen to be the most popular breeds currently, so I guess my palate is a pretty common one – as far as durian is concerned, I’m just another one of the masses! In the end, I do think that these ‘premium breeds’ are definitely superior to your $2-per-fruit durians. Whether the price difference is justified, however, is very much debatable. It’s not something I’ll buy everyday, but probably choose to indulge in every once in awhile.
After stuffing ourselves with durian, we proceeded to play Bang!, an interesting card game that Carey brought. I won’t bothering explaining the rules – it’s summarised quite well in the Wikipedia article – but it was quite easy to pick up and was really quite enjoyable. I thought it vaguely resembled Polar Bear or Murderer (simple party games that’re relatively popular in Singapore), in that you have to try to identify hidden opponents among your fellow gamers, which is really ineresting. I’d probably have got a set myself, except that I’ve now realised that it’s a little silly to own a duplicate copy of a game someone else in my clique already owns.
Maybe I should get my brother to buy it instead – apparently he’s played it before and really enjoyed it, too…