Pungent ‘J-Queen’ durians sell for $1,000 in Indonesia

JAKARTA (Reuters) – An Indonesian variety of the durian – a pungent, spiky fruit considered a delicacy across many parts of Asia — has been sold in a store on the island of Java for a hefty $1,000 per fruit.

A man poses with a J-Queen durian in Jakarta, Indonesia January 25, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. INSTAGRAM / @PLAZAASIA.OFFICIAL/via REUTERS

The “J-Queen” durian was selected by a panel of farmers in a region of central Java because it was deemed to have a special taste and texture, said Sudarno, a farmer who grew the fruit.

Two of the rare durians, which were displayed in a perspex case in a store in Tasikmalaya in the neighboring province, were sold for 14 million rupiah ($1,002) each, said Sudarno, who uses one name like many Indonesians.

Asked why anyone would pay such a high price, he said the harvest from this particular tree had failed in past seasons, but a new fertilizer helped to produce fruit this year.

“It’s sweet..fluffy and delicious,” Sudarno said by phone, describing the texture as creamy like butter.

Durian are often grown in family orchards or small-scale farms and are hugely popular in many parts of Asia.

Sometimes described as smelling like an open sewer or turpentine when ripe, durian are banned in some airports, public transport and hotels in Southeast Asia.

Sudarno said most of the 20 durians produced by his tree were premature, but four were offered for sale. Two were sold and the others pulled from display after their quality faded.

He did not know who bought the fruit.

($1 = 13,970.0000 rupiah)

Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Editing by Ed Davies and Darren Schuettler

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