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Mas Muar durians are medium to large fruits, averaging 16 to 20 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to oval, tapered shape. The surface is covered in closely arranged, long, and narrow spikes that are somewhat uniform in appearance, and the spikes point away from the stem and crown. The fruit’s range in color from brown to pale green and the seams are less visible than other durian varieties. The stem is also a defining characteristic and is brown, fibrous, and tough, averaging 5 centimeters in length, with an even thickness. Once the thick shell is sliced open and torn apart, multiple lobes of flesh are revealed, encased in elongated chambers. The yellow to yellow-orange flesh has a creamy, slightly fibrous, firm, and dry consistency, allowing the large brown seeds to be easily separated from the meat. Mas Muar durians have a strong aroma and a candy-like, honeyed sweetness followed by a slightly bitter, lingering aftertaste.
Mas Muar durians are available during the southwest monsoon season in Malaysia, with a peak season typically spanning from May to July.
Mas Muar durians, botanically a part of the Durio genus, are a famous local Malaysian variety belonging to the Malvaceae family. The bittersweet fruits are native to Johor, Malaysia, and were recognized by Malaysia’s Agricultural Department as a favored cultivar in the late 20th century. Mas Muar durians were registered under the code D168, and they are also known by many other names, including Hajah Hasmah, Muar Gold, Johor Mas, and Durian IOI. There are over 200 durian varieties registered within the Agriculture Department in Malaysia, but less than 10 of those varieties are commercially cultivated. Mas Muar durians are the most popular variety from the department of Johor and are valued for their large size, thick flesh, and sweet, subtly bitter flavor. Growers also favor the variety for its disease resistance, high yields, and fast-growing nature, as the trees begin to bear fruit in approximately 3 to 5 years.
Mas Muar durians are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system, reduces inflammation, and protects the cells against free radical damage. The fruits are also a good source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and provide lower amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, copper, and zinc.
Mas Muar durians are best suited for fresh applications as their firmer, creamy consistency, and sweet, mildly bitter flavor are showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The fruits are known for opening easily, and the flesh has a dense texture that holds its shape well when removed from the fruit. Mas Muar durian flesh can be eaten raw, savored as a stand-alone snack, or pieces of the flesh can be battered and fried as a popular snack. The flesh can also be blended into smoothies, coffee, and other beverages, mixed and cooked into pancakes, or it can be used to flavor prepared desserts such as cakes, ice cream, cream puffs, sticky rice, bars, tarts, and cold, sweet soups. In Malaysia, Mas Muar durian is often topped over ice cendol, a soupy, shaved ice mixture with red beans, creamed corn, green noodles, sweeteners, and coconut milk. Mas Muar durians pair well with other fruits such as pomelo, coconut, mangosteen, and bananas, whipped cream, chocolate, caramel, red beans, pandan, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whole and fresh, unopened Mas Muar durians should be immediately consumed for the best flavor and texture. Once the flesh is removed from the husk, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days.
Johor is the main durian production region in Malaysia, and in June of 2019, the region hosted the annual Johor Agriculture Expo and Fruit Fair, featuring “everything durian” as the fair’s central theme. During the festival, there was an all-you-can-eat durian competition, where teams of three would have seven minutes to cut open and eat as many durians as they could. Families with small children participated in the event, consisting of one parent and two children, and on average, two entire durians were consumed by each team within the seven-minute window. The winning team consumed four durians. In addition to the eating competition, the fruit fair featured the first-ever durian unggul competition, a contest to find a new durian variety that has not been registered with the Malaysian Agricultural Department. Currently, Mas Muar durians are considered Johor’s most popular variety, and judges hoped the contest would inspire growers to introduce another durian that could compete in international markets and further establish Johor as the durian capital of Malaysia. Farmer Mad Zin was the winner of durian unggul, presenting two new durians known as P089 and P088. P089 was voted the winner for its creamy consistency and slightly bitter flavor, earning Mad Zin a cash prize and a musang king durian plant for cultivation.
Mas Muar durians are native to the district of Muar within the department of Johor, Malaysia. The bittersweet variety was grown by Hajah Hasmah in his home garden, and for many years, the fruits and seeds were only gifted to friends and family. One legend states that Hasmah had many squirrels who liked to eat his growing durians, causing most of the fruits to be lost to the roaming mammals. Hasmah hired his neighbor to exterminate the squirrels, and as repayment, he offered the seeds of his Mas Muar durian for propagation. Over time, the planted seeds grew trees that offered the same exotic durians, and in 1987, Hasmah was encouraged to sell the seeds and fruits for profit. Mas Muar durians were registered with the Malaysia State Agricultural Department on May 24th, 1989, under the registration code D168, and from there, the variety became popular in the department of Johor. Today Mas Muar durians are still found throughout Malaysia and are exported in small quantities to businesses in Indonesia. Seeds of the variety were also sent to Australia as an introductory species for potential cultivation.
Recipes that include Masmur Durians. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Davina Da Vegan||Durian Panna Cotta|
|Sift and Simmer||Durian Cream Pancakes|
|Tipsy Bartender||Boozy Durian Shake|
|Cook Sifu||Malaysian Ice Cendol|