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Mentega durians are moderately sized, oval to oblong fruits, averaging 10 to 20 centimeters in length, and are covered in broad, conical spikes. The sharp, pointed skin ranges in color from brown to gold, and underneath the spikes, there is a thick, fibrous rind. The fruit can be sliced or torn open to reveal multiple lobes of bright yellow flesh surrounded by a white, spongy pith. The flesh is smooth, slippery, and slightly sticky with a soft consistency, encasing a large, flattened seed within each lobe. When fresh, Mentega durians have a sweet flavor combined with subtle bitter notes.
Mentega durians are available in the summer.
Mentega durians, botanically a part of the Durio genus, are a rare variety belonging to the Malvaceae family. The name Mentega translates from Indonesian to mean “butter,” and is a descriptor used to highlight the consistency of the smooth flesh. The fruits are primarily localized to the Lumajang Regency in East Java and are considered a specialty variety that is only found through a small grouping of wild trees and grown by select farmers. Despite their hyperlocal roots, Mentega durians are gaining notoriety among durian enthusiasts for their creamy consistency, and tourists have begun traveling to Lumajang specifically for the Mentega durian. When in season, Mentega durians are prominently displayed in large piles at fruit markets, and many Lumajang residents also visit the local farms to purchase the fresh fruit that has fallen from the tree that same day.
Mentega durians are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. The fruits are also a good source of vitamin B6, manganese, copper, iron, and potassium, and contain some magnesium, zinc, folate, and calcium.
Mentega durians are best suited for raw applications as their soft, buttery flesh, and sweet, subtly bitter flavor is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The slippery, sticky flesh can be eaten immediately after removal from the fruit, or it can be blended into smoothies and added to sticky rice. Mentega durians can also be incorporated into a spread for use on crackers and bread, mixed with spices into a savory condiment, cooked into a filling for pastries, boiled with sugar and frozen to make ice cream, or canned in syrup. In Southeast Asia, durian is often used as a flavoring for custard fillings in bread and buns. To extend the fruit’s storage life, the flesh can be dried, preserved in salt, or thinly sliced when unripe and baked into chips. In addition to the flesh, durian seeds can be roasted, fried, or boiled and consumed similarly to a nut. Mentega durians pair well with coffee, coconut, mango, avocado, sugar cane, seaweed, and rice. Whole, unopened Mentega durians will keep for a couple of weeks when stored in a cool location. Once sliced, the flesh is best consumed immediately for optimal flavor and can be stored for an additional 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Durian flesh can also be frozen for up to two months.
In Lumajang, Mentega durians are a sought-after variety for their rich flavor and smooth flesh. The region is famous for its nutrient-dense soils due to Mount Semeru, an active volcano that is also considered one of Indonesia's most popular hiking locations. In this region, Mentega durians are heavily guarded as they are maturing on the trees and some farmers even have twenty-four-hour security to protect the fruits from robbers and animals. The fruits drop from the tree when mature, and in peak season, 50 to 100 fruits can fall daily for sale in local markets. The residents of Lumajang also use Mentega durians as a form of food tourism. Durian stalls are built in local markets to attract the tourists visiting the region to hike Mount Semeru, and some farms offer tours where visitors can slice open and eat the fruits beside the trees. Besides tourists, Mentega durians are sold to locals as gifts to friends and family for special occasions, holidays, and celebrations.
Mentega durians are native to the city of Lumajang, located in the East Java province of Indonesia, and have been growing wild since ancient times. The exact history of the variety is mostly unknown, but growers in Lumajang have continued to grow and slowly expand the natural cultivar as the fruit’s popularity is increasing. Today Mentega durians, when in season, can be found fresh at local markets throughout Lumajang.
Recipes that include Mentega Durian. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Indonesia Eats||Durian Pudding With Pandan|
|wok & Skillet||No-Churn Durian Ice Cream|
|All Recipes||Durian Puree Cheesecake|
|wok & Skillet||Durian Snow Skin Mooncake|
|Food Delicacy||Durian Lapis Cake|