The country origin of black thorn durian includes Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, however the black thorn durian production area is mainly in North Malaysia, which was originally only produced in Penang and Kedah (Sambayang region). Black thorn durian is produced from Pahang state as well. However, the quality of the Black thorn durian in Penang, Malaysia is better than the durian produced in other places in Malaysia. Black thorn durian had won the 2012 durian championship and was called the “King of Fruit King”. Mr. Leow was the proprietor of the durian who yielded the championship. The “King of Fruit King” did earn his name in the durian world. Mr Leow found a black thorn variety on a friend’s farm 35 years ago. He grafted this tree with black thorn, and now his oldest black thorn durian tree is more than 50 years old. His grafting technique is too good as the award-winning Black thorn durian tree can be grafted just through a “durian kampung tree”. Since then, Black thorn is registered as D200 Durian at the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
Black thorn durian has special necessities on the climate and soil quality of the producing area. Only plateau climate is suitable for planting black thorn durian. The coverage area of Black thorn durian is small, which is about 150 acres, and the annual output is about 200 tons. Due to the low yield production, even the Malaysian people may not have the opportunity to taste this precious durian variety. The shape of the Black thorn durian is a more regular sphere, but some of the black spines tip is the most obvious feature. Consequently, this durian species is named Black thorn. If distinguished by the size of the durian, the average size of the black thorn is one third larger than the Musang King. Large Black thorn weighs 3 to 4 kilograms but even the small Black thorn would have very much flesh inside.
The flesh of the Black thorn durian is bright yellow-orange, while the old tree durian will be brighter and thicker. The taste of the flesh is creamy, and some people think that black thorn flesh is more dried if you eat Musang King afterward. The flesh taste sweet and bitter, and some have a fruity aroma. Some of them said the flesh with more ‘wrinkles’ could have the better taste. Hong Kong food writer Tsai Lan once claimed that the different tree age of black thorn durian is a rare thing that bring out the different flavor and taste. The Black thorn is the most delicious durian compared with the Musang King .
Durian planting method
Although there are not many old trees for black thorns, many durian orchard owners have started to use old tree grafting techniques to plant Black thorn. The fastest record to have durian fruit takes only 18 months. The Agriculture Bureau also assisted durian orchard owners in planting, grafting Black thorn seedlings to old trees through the existing “durian kampung trees”, and absorbing nutrients from the roots of the old trees to supply the seedlings. This method can quickly have the new Black thorn trees to get durian fruits within 3 years.