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Every year leading up to the National Day month, a paralleling panic-induced frenzy takes hold of the nation and everything else is automatically downgraded to a lower priority. Ta-Da! The Durian Season has arrived.
As “Must-Get-My-Hands-On-That-Green-Spikey-Fruit” soon becomes the national mantra, streets fill with rows of tantalising durians opened to reveal shades of yellow ranging from a pale, almost cream, colour to rich butterscotch and the unmistakable aroma floats through the air. It’s not surprising that this obsession that grips so many Singaporeans has made its mark on local literature. After all, a durian by any other name would smell just as… Pungent, wouldn’t it?
And just like how Mid-Autumn Festival has mooncakes accompanied by poems about the moon, here are a couple of books to get you in the durian mood.
1. Ah… The Fragrance of Durians by David Leo
In Ah… The Fragrance of Durians , the collection of short stories features the the king of fruits in its title story. Slightly sentimental, the fruit is recognised for the role it plays in our lives and how, more than a tasty fruit, it is the memories and bonding created by sharing a durian that we associate with it.
2. Durians Are Not the Only Fruits by Wong Yoon Wah
Alternatively, Durians Are Not the Only Fruits is a collection of the author’s writings on the nature that he grew up with in Malaya and includes the culture of durian eating. His notes include the various superstitions that accompany the fruit as well as the usual customs and even personal experience. Any durian lover would relate to the fond detailing and explorations of the tropical fruit.
3. Only the Best by Leslie Tay
Looking for a more straight-forward, ‘How to Pick’ tips? Then try Dr Leslie Tay’s Only the Best on how to get the durian golden touch. It is a bonus that you get the ultimate insider’s guide to Singapore Hawker Food, so what are you waiting for?
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ARTICLE BY CHLOE ANG & KRISTIE NG