In New York's Chinatown, Malaysian durians are premium

Durians in Chinatown, New York, sells for around RM 63.54 to RM142.965 per fruit. – AFP pic
Durians in Chinatown, New York, sells for around RM 63.54 to RM142.965 per fruit. – AFP pic

NEW YORK, July 15 — In much of Southeast Asia, the durian is barred from many public spaces. But not in Chinatown, reports the New York Times.

Known for its unique taste, strong odor and premium price with pockets of fleshy fruit, the king of Malaysian fruits is making a smelly hit on the streets of New York and Jay Fan, known as the durian man of Chinatown, is making a tidy sum.

With a large warning sign reminding customers about competing vendors who put premium labels on lesser-grade durians, Fan said during this time of year, the price of these wonderful delights ranges from US$20 to US$45 (RM 63.54 to RM142.965) per fruit.

While local Chinese immigrants are his main customers, there are also many who seek him out specifically, thanks to his 15 minutes of YouTube fame.

Fan grew up a street kid in Hong Kong and he came to New York at age 20, reports the NYT.

He soon saw what a hit durian was in Chinatown.

“It’s addictive — I have people who come every other day,” said Fan

Customers prefer the Malaysian durian due to its modest size, whose firm consistency and sharp, onionlike tang makes it more expensive than the larger and sweeter Thai durians, said Fan.