Thursday, 1 November 2012
Bao Sheng Durian Farm's second season
How can I ever miss turning down an invitation to the Bao Sheng Durian Farm in Sungai Pinang, 10 kilometres from Balik Pulau town on the "other side" of Penang island, when an enticing picture of a durian fruit is posted on the owner's facebook page?
Despite not feeling entirely well, still recovering from a sore throat and a loss of voice, I chose to make the 57-kilometre journey from my house in Bukit Mertajam to Sungai Pinang.
When I arrived at Bao Sheng, nobody was in sight. Not the owner, Durian Seng, nor his wife or children. So I decided to simply walk down the trail from his house into the valley below.
And soon enough, I caught sight of Durian Seng, with a basket on his back, as he went searching for durians.
"The end-of-year season has just started," he told me, "and there aren't too many that has dropped. But I tell you, the quality looks better than earlier in the year." He said that he was surprised with the D604 strain which turned out so much more yellow and creamier.
We walked back up the steep track to his house. There, we found a few people who had arrived since I did.
Without skipping a beat, Durian Seng launched into his explanations of the durian, how to determine that the fruit was fresh and not stale, which part of the fruit to sniff for the best fragrance, and how to tell whether the fruit was ripe enough.
So how long will the season last, I asked. "Until the middle of December," he replied. There may still be supplies after that but the quality at the tail-end of a season would have gone down.
While we were talking, a family arrived and started unpacking their bags. "They are here for the homestay programme," Durian Seng explained. The family made their way through his property and checked into the dual chalets a few metres from his house. The chalets flanked a small swimming pool. Further away was another chalet, a newer one that was completed in the middle of this year, with its own pool. "We don't provide meals or cooking facilities," he explained, "but only the fruits from the plantation." It would cost RM180 per night for a chalet stay, he added.
More information about the Bao Sheng Durian Farm.