|Durians in my uncle's house in Georgetown|
But first, our main target: the durians. My cousin was all for pre-planning, identifying the best durian stalls/farm. Which we did, somewhat. But at the end it was not really necessary. My Penang Uncle said that the stalls in town were "not good value", his code phrase for "too expensive" and bought our first batch of durians for us on Day 1 (a friend of a friend brought them in from the farm).
On Day 2, our MPV driver (we hired an MPV) drove us to a roadside stall somewhere near Balik Pulau where we ate durians fresh off the farm. Don't ask me where - I have no idea. One road in the hills looks much like another.
|Durian cultivars, Malay names|
What's the big deal about durians in Penang, the uninitiated might ask. First, obviously it is the freshness of the durians - just off the farm. Second, the sheer range and variety of durians available. And I'm not talking about the standard D24 or Mao Shan Wang (although these are definitely available). Penang durian farmers take pride in cultivating new and unique durians, with names such as "Ang Hae", "Cheh Pui", "Or Chih", "Capri" and many others (the first two are Hokkien phrases meaning "red prawn", "green skin" and "black thorn"). The names are also translated into Malay (literal translations). See more information here and here.
|Our roadside stall|
Sadly, there was no Day 3 feasting as we were due to return to Singapore. We'll have to wait till durian season comes around next year.