Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Bao Sheng Durian Farm

The durian (pronounced /ˈdʊəriən/)[2] is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio and the Malvaceae family[3][1] (although some taxonomists place Durio in a distinct family, Durionaceae[1]). Widely known and revered in southeast Asia as the "king of fruits", the durian is distinctive for its large size, unique odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species. (Source: Wikipedia)

Hubs normally orders his yearly supply of durian from Mr Chang (also fondly known as Ah Seng) who owns the Bao Sheng Durian Farm. As far as I know, Ah Seng is probably one of the more famous durian farm owners in Penang. His farm has been featured in The Star Metro, the George Town Penang facebook fan page etc.

The Bao Sheng durian farm is located at Titi Kerawang, somewhere between Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang. If you are coming from Balik Pulau, the farm entrance is right after the Titi Kerawang waterfall, on the left side of the road. Drive down the cemented driveway to a wide open lot with ample parking space.

An abundance of fresh durians

Bao Sheng has recently gone through some facelift with the addition of two chalets and a small swimming pool. Durian lovers can opt for a night or more stay at the chalet for RM180 per night. The chalet comes with an attached bathroom, a double bed, an LCD TV and Broadband access. According to Ah Seng, the farm stay is ideal for durian lovers who want to savour fresh durians from the farm all day long as he offers a separate all-day durian breakfast, lunch and dinner package. The chalets are fully booked on most weekends especially during the durian season.

There are plans to add another four chalets on a higher ground, two of which will be occupied by Ah Seng's family and the other two for rental.

Double Bed

Attached bathroom

View from the chalet
Chalet and swiming pool

Panoramic view of Penang

Ah Seng's Koi fish

Ah Seng opening the durians

Ah Seng feeding his Koi fish with durian

Ah Seng briefing about how to identify 'good' durians

A trip to Ah Seng's farm is normally very educational and enjoyable as it will include a briefing session by Ah Seng on the different species of durians, how to choose 'good' durians, what are the best types of durians etc.

I learned a thing or two about durian from this trip to Bao Seng Durian Farm e.g. how the price of durian can vary depending on the age of the tree and how long the fruit has dropped from the tree. The older the tree, the more 'wrinkles' there are on the pulp and the better the fruit is. The fruit is at its best or freshest when it has just dropped from the tree. One way to tell how fresh a fruit is to examine the quality of the stalk which loses moisture as it ages. A fresh fruit should have a big, solid stalk which is still fair in colour. Some unscrupulous farmers or sellers may cut off the dried part of the stalk or remove the stalk altogether.

I cannot remember which fruit was which species but we had six fruits altogether which include one Red Prawn (Ang Heh) and two Lin Fong Jiao amongst others. It was a very educational and 'fruitful' trip indeed.

According to the Bao Sheng website, the durian season this year started in mid of May and will end around mid of July. It is now almost the tail end of the season so do hurry if you want to savour the last of what's in season this year. Give Ah Seng a call to book a durian feast session at Bao Sheng Durian Farm soon!

Bao Sheng Durian Farm (349429-A)
150 Mk.2, Sungai Pinang, 11010 Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia.
Fax:604-829 9000
Mobile Phone:012-411 0600 / 012-401 0800

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