Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Mei Chiew / Mei Qiu D828 Durian from Yong Peng Johor 柔佛永平美樹/ 美球榴莲

Mei Chiew / Mei Qiu 美樹/ 美球榴莲 (D828) from Yong Peng, Johor is one of the oldest durian cultivars yet it is still relatively unknown. If you Google search Mei Chiew / Mei Qiu D828 美樹/ 美球榴莲 now, you will find very few search results (I mean less than half a dozen).

According to local urban kampung legend, Mei Chiew came from a single tree which belonged to Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor (reigned 1862 - 1895). The tree was large and majestic, hence it was named 美樹 Mei Chiew which means Beautiful Tree in Hokkien language. The original Mei Chiew tree was grafted onto other trees about three generations ago, though no one is sure when. 

Today, a very small number of plantations around Yong Peng have Mei Chiew trees. AnA Fruit Trading with about 100 Mei Chiew trees in it's plantation in Yong Peng is probably one of the largest Mei Qiu 美樹 producers.

The 美樹 fruit is usually roundish and around the size of a bowling ball. Hence, it is also referred to as 美球 Beautiful Ball. Those not perfectly round are slightly flat at the two ends. Husk colour ranges from yellowish to light olive green. The fruit is not very large, just slightly over a kilo each.

The stubby thorns are pyramidal with flat sides.

The meat is light matt milky yellowish colour. Fragrance is floral, subtle and sweetish (not pungent).

Pinching the meat leaves a shallow dimple but the membrane outside does not break.

The meat is creamy and smooth, held together with a bit of fibre. The soft membrane outside felt squeaky to the bite. Inside, it is sticky and moist but not wet. I prefer this texture (compared to durian meat that is like soft wet custard with zero fibre or bite).

Flavour is mainly mildly sweet (mild compared to Mao Shan Wang) with subtle bitter aftertaste.

The seed size vary from small like a thumbnail and flat, to oblong and round like a small egg.

Even with the big seeds, Mei Chiew has quite a lot of substance, so it can be rather filling.

Yong Peng folks are proud of this cultivar but Mei Chiew hasn't travelled much so far (though it is occasionally exported to Singapore in small quantities).

We can get Mei Chiew in Johor Bahru at AnA Fruit Trading in Atarah Hair Studio in Taman Pelangi Indah in Ulu Tiram. AnA Fruit Trading's plantation in Yong Peng trucks down the durians arriving in JB around 2:00pm - 2:30pm and retails it at Atarah Hair Studio. 

Prices at RM15-18 per kilo (prices are seasonal, of course).

Today's prices at AnA Fruit Trading. All fruits are grown at AnA's own 5 acre farm in Yong Peng which uses (bycatch) fish and swallow poo for fertiliser, and wood vinegar for insecticide. No synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are used.

👆Click on the photo above to read more about AnA Fruit Trading's durians.

Shop name: AnA Fruit Trading (inside Atarah Hair Studio)
Address: 94, Jalan Cantik 1, Taman Pelangi Indah, Ulu Tiram, Johor (10 minutes drive from IKEA/ JUSCO Tebrau or 3 minutes drive from Mydin Pelangi Indah) 
GPS: 1°34'43.0"N 103°48'06.5"E | 1.578606, 103.801811 
Waze: Atarah Hair Studio 
Tel: +6016 739 3816 (pre-booking is a must for MSW due to demand) 
Hours: Durians arrive around 2:00pm

Date visited: 10 July 2018

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