Among the many varieties of durian scattered throughout Southeast Asia, one that may not be widely known is the Durian Lahung (Durio dulcis), an exotic reddish-black fruit from the island of Kalimantan. Unlike ordinary durians, the lahung has sharp reddish-black skin and spines. Its skin is sharper and more pointed, with spines that are 15-200 millimeters long. This fruit is also endemic to Kalimantan, Indonesia.
True to its name "dulcis" meaning sweet, this durian is the sweetest of its kind. Its flesh is thick, soft, smooth and oily. Although its texture is almost similar to that of ordinary durians, it tends to be slightly more watery.
Another fascinating aspect of this durian is its caramel-like taste with a strong aroma. Its seeds are shiny black and there are usually one or two seeds in each durian.
Before you try it, you may have to spend some time and effort to open this durian, as it's notoriously difficult. A machete is usually needed to cut it across.
Unfortunately, Durian Lahung is not easy to find due to its very limited quantity. Its skin is also thicker than regular durians, resulting in less flesh. Lahung trees are also known to take a very long time to bear fruit. It can take decades before it bears fruit, and even when it does, it only bears fruit once or twice every few years.
Furthermore, Durian Lahung is not commercially cultivated, and its growing areas are typically in forests or remote areas that are difficult for the general public to access. It's no wonder that Durian Lahung is a rare and elusive fruit.
The limited quantity and slow growth process make Durian Lahung less economically viable compared to other durians. However, Durian Lahung has great potential to be developed as a local specialty fruit in South Kalimantan. This step is taken in anticipation of global market competition, especially considering the increasing number of imported fruits flooding Indonesia nowadays.