Thursday, 22 August 2013

How to Never be Sold a Fake Mao Shan Wang Musang King MSW 猫山王 Durian Again

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

There is no doubt that the Mao Shan Wang 猫山王 or Musang King is the most popular and also most prized of all durians now. (The Mao Shan Wang is named after Gua Musang town, the main fruit trading centre in Kelantan, Malaysia. The cultivar is originally from the town of Tanah Merah, also in Kelantan.)


Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

The texture of thick Mao Shan Wang flesh is rich and creamy like toasted marshmallow. On the palate Mao Shan Wang flesh tastes slightly bitter with sweet notes. On the nose, its aroma is sweet and mildly pungent without being overpowering.

Mao-Shan-Wang-DurianMao-Shan-Wang-Durian

The Mao Shan Wang seed is flat and quite small.

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

Sometimes the waxy seed peeks out from folds in the slightly glowing yellow flesh. As you can see, the Mao Shan Wang flesh literary undrapes itself from the waxy seed.

While there is no question about the Mao Shan Wang's allure, identifying the real McCoy may sometimes be challenging.




This post aims to help us avoid fake Mao Shan Wang durians. Unfortunately, there is no 100% foolproof method against being sold a fake. We can, however, substantially improve our chances by learning more about the Mao Shan Wang.

Only the external identifying features are listed here as most durians are sold on an "once opened considered sold" basis unless it is obviously rotten or unripe.

To identify a real Mao Shan Wang, check that it has all the following five external features together. Other cultivars may have some but not all five features altogether.

Look out for these five external features in a single durian:

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

Mao Shan Wang thorns are like small pyramids with flat angular sides unlike some other durians with conical thorns.

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

The thorns converge at the base of the stem forming a bald brownish ring around it.

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

The Mao Shan Wang is mostly oval shaped like an egg or sometimes even a pear. Rarely, it is round like a bowling ball.

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

There is a characteristic brownish 5-arm "starfish" at the base of the Mao Shan Wang. The thin, longish arms warp the base of the durian and run up to the middle of the shell as if it is trying to hold it together tightly.

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

The "body" of the "starfish" is brownish in colour, flat and bald. It is not pointy or bulging and the thorns do not gather or converge here. In the Mao Shan Wang, the thorns at the base are parted away from the "bald patch".

Mao-Shan-Wang-Durian

Before asking the durian seller to open the durian, look out for these five external features in a single durian.

With these five external identifying features, hopefully we never have to suffer another fake Mao Shan Wang again :)


Mao-Shan-Wang-Musang-King-MSW-猫山王-Durian

A reader suggested that I have a side-by-side comparison of MSW with other durians so that it is easier to identify the real thing. I agree that it's a good suggestion and so here is the post <- click.

Note: Learning about durians is like a journey - we become wiser as we taste and experience more. So, this post will be updated from time to time, as I explore more and hopefully understand durians better.

Tommy-Lim-Pricky-Sensations

(Acknowledgement: My durian teacher is Tommy Lim of Prickly Sensations. A banker by profession, Tommy's depth of durian knowledge is simply amazing. Responsibility for any error in this post is, of course, wholly mine.)

Editions: 22 Aug 2013, 3 Sep 2013


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43 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You are welcome. Glad you found it helpful.

      Delete
  2. where is real musang durian seller
    in jb?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I would also like to know where in Johor we can purchase MSW Durian.

      Delete
  3. Thank you for this informative article. Sure help me to know my durians better.
    I normally go by my sense of smell. Never failed me. Lol.
    Appreciate your time & Tommy's knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I will write a post about using our 5 senses to pick out the best one from a basket of Mao Shan Wangs.

      Delete
  4. thanks for d tips n gr8 info ! enriched my knowledge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. I am glad that you find it useful.

      Delete
  5. Thanks... I love durian but always shy away from the durian seller... afraid of being cheated.. so I settle with styrofoam durian which can be seen... Yellow..Yellow. thats the best I can do to make my money worth. But deep inside I wish I can know from someone kind enough to share the trait of picking the right durian.

    So BIG THANK YOU to Tony @Johor Sedap and Tommy Lim @pricky Sensation. You guys have done a good job

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome masraden, we have a lot of fun too. Generally, it is very hard to tell durians apart based on the look of the flesh alone, prepacked in Styrofoam boxes. Many durians, including ordinary ones, have flesh that looks "golden yellow".

      I am going to write another durian article. This time on how to pick the best MSW from a basket full of MSWs. Wish you happy eating.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the great guide. I'll just have to dream about it for the time being! AU.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for a very informative post. I have never ever bought durians on my own other than in Styrofoam boxes in Jusco!! Looking forward to my first durian purchase next year when I'm back - AU

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful article. So now the durian hawkers got more problem trying to cheat us.

    ReplyDelete
  9. man, that really looks damn good!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Appreciate lots and loads. Info is very helpful. Thank you for being unselfish in sharing info.

    ReplyDelete
  11. very useful information !!!

    - Durian Lover from the Philippines -

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the labor of love. If msw unavail which others should i try? Where should we buy in JB?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, if we have more of such unselfish people in this world, life will be much
    nicer. Many thanks to Tommy Lim and team.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great post! For more tips on identifying the great Mao Shan Wan (Musang King) check out our comparison with D24 at http://www.yearofthedurian.com/2013/02/how-to-identify-musang-king-and-d24.html. We're two Americans who fell in love with the King of Fruit and spent an entire year traveling in Southeast Asia researching the durian in nine different countries. We hope we can answer all your durian questions! If you also love durian, please get in touch :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. The claim Musang King served as Durian platter in Erawan , Damansara looked and tasted like D24.Terribly expensive . RM50 for a small chunk of durian coupled with normal ice-cream and glutinous

    ReplyDelete
  16. Where to find mao shan wang durian in JB?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the tip! Recently got conned into paying Musang Wong price for some Thai durians! Trusted the durian seller, to my regret!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Now I know how to choose the real thing...Thanks buddy

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey! Nice guide. You did a really good job. I put up something similar in 2012 on my site. Would love it if you stopped by and gave your feedback!

    http://www.yearofthedurian.com/2013/02/how-to-identify-musang-king-and-d24.html

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  22. my mum just mentioned it to me, but it's great to see pics of it! helpful post thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. May I know the season for MaoShanWang? Which month to which month?

    ReplyDelete
  24. you should try and include photos of not maoshanwang, so we can see the difference side by side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your suggestion. I will prepare another article which will include your idea.

      Delete
    2. Dear Sir/ Madam,

      I have prepared an article according to your suggestion. Thank you for your feedback.

      http://johorkaki.blogspot.com/2015/06/5-tips-to-spot-mao-shan-wang-msw-musang.html

      Delete
  25. Hi, can someone tell me is there a durian call Mao Wang, I just bought a package from Giant IMM, the seller told me it is not Mao Shan Wang, it is Mao Wang? It cost $12/= a package. Is he conning people?

    ReplyDelete
  26. So the MSW seeds had to be small and flat? I had bought MSW but not all seeds are small and flat. Most are quite big and oval in shape in fact. Like the shape of an egg.....only a few is small and flat...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've asked a few durian sellers and am told that durians from old MSM trees have a higher proportion of small and flat seeds. Durians from young MSM trees have a higher proportion of big and round seeds. I am still checking and verifying how true is this.

      Delete
  27. Is there a mao shan wang durian stand in around jalan meldrum JB?

    ReplyDelete
  28. HI i'm Oscar from indonesia, how I can get seeds of durian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go and buy mao shan wang durian and eat then get the seed.

      Delete
  29. I am more interested in what they had gaven to the tree then bear fruits for the consumers.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi, can someone tell me is there a durian call Mao Wang, I just bought a package from Giant IMM, the seller told me it is not Mao Shan Wang, it is Mao Wang? It cost $12/= a package. Is he conning people?

    I was at Johor Jaya Sunday morning market 2 weeks ago. Someone was selling this durian for RM12/kg. I asked, seller said, this is not MSW. Its some old tree left from older generation. They selling it. I was there when he was trying to sell off the last durian to someone, after some bargaining, it was RM45, quite a huge one. upon opening, he said, sorry not for sales. He can't sell it. Then he open the other half and said... FREE durian for try. I grab one. Taste some what like MSW but more like lower end version.

    ReplyDelete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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