‘Fake’ Mao Shan Wang Durians Allegedly Sold At S’pore Markets, Food Blogger Shares Tips To Identify

Food Blogger Warns Against Falsely Advertised Mao Shan Wang Durians

It’s durian season again, and hardcore fans have probably already indulged in a Mao Shan Wang (MSW) feast or two.

However, local food blogger ieatishootipost recently flagged out that some sellers have been mislabelling their durians, falsely claiming that they are of a superior breed.

To combat these false claims, the blogger shared a list of useful tips for identifying the various durian types.

He also urged buyers to purchase their durians from legitimate sellers rather than illegal peddlers.

Food blogger warns of fake Mao Shan Wang durians in the market

In a Facebook post, food blogger Leslie Tay shared that he purchased one ‘MSW’ or Musang King durian from a pasar malam or night market on 4 June.

The seller reportedly priced the fruit at S$15 per kilogram, which Mr Tay seemingly had no complaints about.

However, he quickly realised that the durian he purchased was not actually the Musang King variety as advertised.

Although he eventually went ahead with his purchase to avoid conflict, Mr Tay decided to share tips to help other identify durians so they won’t fall victim to false marketing tactics.

Look for distinct characteristics when purchasing durian

In his list, Mr Tay noted that MSW or D197 durian is identifiable by its exterior.

To start, the husk of an authentic MSW fruit bears a distinctive star-shaped pattern on its bottom. This unique pattern usually comes in the form of a brown discolouration.

They are often also oval to ellipsoid-shaped, have thick and short spines, as well as a light green or ash brown colour.

Buyers can also keep their eyes peeled for a spikeless ring at the base of the fruit’s stalk.

According to Mr Tay, the MSW is further sub-divided into different grades.

The differences result in variations in pricing, even within the same breed.

He added, “You get what you pay for”, noting that cheap MSW durians are usually small, have fewer seeds, and are of poorer quality.

Nevertheless, Mr Tay cautioned that the labels pegged onto the MSW durians are subjective. Durian sellers are usually the ones who categorise them.

Among them, the ‘Black Gold’ MSW durians are believed to be the most superior. These premium fruits come from older trees, as only mature trees are capable of bearing fruit with deeper flavour profiles.

Mr Tay shared that an indicative feature of the Black Gold fruit is dark greyish green seams.

Apart from the MSW durian, the food blogger also shared identifying characteristics of 29 other popular durian types, including the Golden Phoenix, XO and D24 durians in his “Ultimate Singapore Durian Guide”, which you may view here.

Customers urged to buy from legitimate sellers

Despite sharing helpful tips, Mr Tay’s best advice for durian lovers is to find a trustworthy seller.

After all, the most failproof way to ensure quality is to “build a good relationship with (a reputable durian seller) so he can choose the good durians for you”.

He also warned readers against illegal peddlers selling durian in Pasar Malams and carparks.

He noted that durians they sell may be cheaper, but purchasing from them would negatively affect the industry in the long run.

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Featured image adapted from Aiva Apsite on Unsplash, for illustration purposes only.

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