Volcanic durian from southern Thailand creates year-long waitlist

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A surge in demand has led to a year-long waitlist for the unique volcanic durian grown exclusively in southern Thailand, which boasts a GAP certification ensuring its safety and quality. This particular variety is reported to be twice as delicious as the commonly known Monthong durian.

At the heart of this phenomenon is Saiyut Jannsawang’s orchard in Na Khao Sia village, Trang province. Saiyut, a retired agricultural officer, turned to durian farming post-retirement and now manages a 15-rai (approximately 6-acre) plantation, the first in southern Thailand to cultivate volcanic soil durian. The orchard, which is the only one in the region, has received a GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification from the Department of Agricultural Extension, verifying it as a chemical-free durian farm.

The orchard houses 220 durian trees, including varieties like Monthong, Chanee, Kan Yao, Nok Krachib, Long Lap Lae, Kradum, and Puang Manee. However, due to a recent drought, only around 130 trees bore fruit this year, reducing the yield by 30%. Despite this, today marked the first cut of the season, with the initial harvest of Monthong durians weighing between 3 and 6 kilogrammes and selling at 230 baht per kilogramme.

Since last year, over 300 customers have pre-ordered these durians, drawn by their creamy texture, rich flavour, thin shells, and small seeds. The orchard sees consistent foot traffic as customers come to purchase the sought-after volcanic durians directly.

Previously, the orchard sold fallen durians, offering them pre-peeled for customers to sample before buying. This year marks the second year of direct sales from the farm, ensuring customers can inspect and exchange any damaged fruits. The farm expects to produce around 4,000 to 5,000 kilogrammes of durians, generating over 1 million baht in revenue, although the initial target was 3 million baht.

Farmers have been visiting to study the grafting techniques used to strengthen the trees, eliminating the need for support ropes throughout the durian’s lifespan. They also learn about protecting the fruit with red, blue, and white bags to prevent damage from animals like squirrels. During the selling season, Saiyut wears red clothing daily, a personal ritual believed to attract prosperity and customers.

High demand

Saiyut shared that this year’s well-prepared harvest includes around 5,000 durians from 130 trees. The organic volcanic durian farming method has doubled the yield, with each fruit weighing between 3 and 6 kilogrammes. However, the high demand means there isn’t enough supply, especially with the 300 advance orders from last year.

The standout features of Saiyut’s durians include a thin shell, just half a centimetre thick, and a creamy texture that melts in the mouth without any fibrous strands. Customers have praised the durians for their rich, balanced sweetness and creaminess, making them twice as delightful as the regular Monthong variety.

The orchard’s highlight is the unique blend of creamy and sweet flavours in the durians, which surpasses the taste of typical Monthong durians by twofold. Customers who have tasted the fruit describe it as exceptionally delicious, further fueling the high demand for these volcanic durians, reported KhaoSod.

South Thailand NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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