Myself and my husband have stayed 4 days in the month of July at Bao Sheng Durian Farm in Penang Island, Malaysia.
The owner, Mr. Chang Seng and his beautiful wife and talented son, have beed our most hospitable hosts and teachers, during this magical time.
We came to the Bao Sheng Durian Farm to learn more about durians, the fruits that have bewitched us since our first visit to Asia, in Thailand, 2 years ago.
Since then, we continuously hunted for durians in different Asian countries, because we became really obsessed with these fruits.
And because myself I am specialist in nutrition and detoxification with diet and herbal medicine, I also wanted to learn more about the properties of the durians on the human body and its different organs.
My personal experiences and my professional study and research in the last 20 years have taught me a lot about food and its influence on our health. We are what we eat.
Our body cells (the smallest parts of our body) are made from the food we eat.
We eat living foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds – we build good quality bodies – healthy and resistant. We eat cooked food, animal products food, “dead” food, as I call it, then our body is not so happy and will get sick, old and weak.
Durians are among the most interesting fruits I have ever encountered in all my travels in this world.
Their smell seems unpleasant for many westerners, but we are from East Europe, we love to eat onion, garlic and similar plants, so durian odor is not so completely unfamiliar for us. When we tasted our first good Ganyao durian in Bangkok, Thailand, was like eating my mother vanilla rum creamy cake filling, only very much better!
Then, every durian we tasted, remembered us of all sweets from our childhood, like ecler (a french like pastry filled with vanilla cream) or cremshnit (another kind of pastry filled with sweet, flavoured white-yellowish cream). And every day, we wanted to taste the durian again and again. It hooked us from day one! At Bao Sheng Durian Farm we have tasted the most exquisite durians we ever had in the last 2 years.
We tasted fresh durians, barely fallen from the tree, with all their fragrances intact – the bitter, sweet, flourish, wine (alcohol) and numb sensation (yes, we actually felt little numbness – tinglings in our mouth, on our lips! after eating some of the parts of the durian).
We tasted different varieties, such as D15, Jackie Chan’s wife, Green skin, Red prawn, Musan king, a white meat durian and many others. We tasted durians from very old trees – such as 50 or 60 years old trees – small but extremely tasty and flavoury. We tasted durians fallen from the tree from 1-2-3 or more hours and felt the difference, actually experiencing how the smell, taste and consistency of the flesh changed from one hour to the other.
This kind of experience we have encountered only once more in our life – during a wine tasting in an special place in Romania (Murfatlar vineyard, Constanta, Romania).
We called it a “gourmet” experience at Bao Sheng Durian Farm. Here we found the “haute cuisine” of durians – the best of the “king of fruits”! And it was not only a physical experience. It was a spiritual experience as well, meeting the Kung Fu Durian Master – Mr. Chang Seng
We have shared our own findings about durians with Mr Chang. I have searched a lot on Internet about the active substances in durian and all the studies made to find our what is there in these amazing fruits. I have also noticed my body reactions after eating durian.
In the last 2 years I am on a raw vegan diet, with a strong switch toward a frutarian diet – so I ate days and weeks in a row only fruits. My medical training is helping me finding out what is happening in the body when a certain food is eaten. Durian is a fruit from the category I call “the builders” of the body.
My own personal classification of fruits is about 2 categories:
1) fruits that clean the body (mainly lymphatic system cleaning – such as citrus fruits, lemons, oranges, other juicy druits such as water melons, papaya or honey dew melons, grapes and others). Here are included all watery type of fruits, each one with a different action, on different parts of the body
2) fruits that build the body – are the more fatty fruits such as bananas, dates and figs, nuts of all sorts (coconuts inckudeed, coconut water includeed) – and I also put here durians, jackie fruits and chempedak. I am sure there are so much more fruits which I haven’t yet explored.
So – durian is a builder of the body.
It contains a lot of fatty acids, very important for the brain (the nervous system) and the membrane of all cells (“the brain of the cells”). Together with these comes some amino-acids, some simple sugars and many others such as fat soluble vitamins, minerals, enzymes (living substances) and anti-oxidants,
I found out that durian has many amino-acids, and especially triptophan, which is an essential amino-acid, important for the synthesis of dopamine and serotonine in the brain, substances known as the “happiness hormones”.
No other fruit has been quoted in medical literature as having so many amino-acids, although all have their share of them (everything with a structure HAS AMINO-ACIDS, fruits included).
Fresh durians have also a lot of fructose, which is a simple sugar from fruits, easily absorbed in cells especially in the nervous system, the liver and the sexual organs (spermatozoids feeds ONLY with fructose!). When the durian gets not so fresh – after more than 6-10 hours after falling from the tree, all the fructose is slowly changing to glucose, another type of symple carbohydrate. This could be used by all the cells in the body, but with a higher energy consumption (needing insulin for absorbtion, fructose is absorbed though direct diffusion in cells, not needing insulin for absorbtion!). So our body is not so satisfied with glucose, the way it is with fructose.
It is very important to understand these two simple sugars from fruits.
Fructose – the most important, one can find ONLY in fresh good rippen fruits, just picked from the trees.
We talk about the FRUIT FRUCTOSE, not about the fructose powder, made from corn through chemical processing. Although there is the same name for both, the difference between them IS HUGE. Fruits fructose is a living molecule, corn fructose is a dead molecule, not recognised by our bodies and triggering bad reaction in it (it’s a very long discussion, but I found important to mention this topic).
Tasting durians at Bao Sheng Pharm we could actually feel the difference between fresh durians, with a high content of fructose and anti-oxidant substances (such as flavonoids, or cyanides – the ones responsabile for the orange, yellow or sometimes darkish colour of the flesh inside and the numbness sensation on our tongue, or the vanilla flower essence) and the not so fresh durians, that stayed for many hours before opened and consumed (rich in glucose, very sweet, but not any flavour left – just sweet).
And we felt very satisfyied with few pieces of good fresh durian (the body couldn’t take more – we felt full, but actually, we haven’t eaten so much). With an old durian, we ate and ate and ate, piece after piece, and we felt full, but not so satisfied.
So – the freshness of the durian was a KEY concept and the best lesson we have learned at Bao Sheng.
A fresh Red prawn durian tasted much better than an older Musan King, although in theory, the second one has the strongest flavour. So the freshness was even more important than the variety.
But one cannot get these type of fresh durians outside of a durian farm. Because in the market, in cities, all durians are there for several hours, until we are buying them. Unless we like to get up early in the morning and buy the first durians brought there – only then we can benefit from a really good durian.
I have discovered durians have a lot of A and D vitamins (which are soluble in fat), together with a lot of minerals, such as Calcium and Phosphorus, Manganese and Sulphur. There are many sulphur substances in durian, responsable with the garlicky like smell, and during its digestive process in the human body, a lot of triptamine is produced (a substance produced also after eating fish). This substance is responsable for the fishy like smell of urine, faeces and perspiration, 24 hours after eating durian.
For people with liver weakness or gallblader problems, durian might be a heavy fruit to be eaten. My personal theory is that exactly this kind of people hate to eat durian. As if their body prevents them to eat something that could worsen the state ther are into. When liver/gallbladder are not functioning well, the person get nausea or has reactions from different smells (smoke, fried oil, cooked fish, other fats, durian included).
If one doesn’t know the situation of their liver, one can try eating durian. If they feal sleepy afterward, with a heaviness sensation in the right side of their abdomen, with some burning feeling in the somach (and the need to take some other food to counteract the sensation), with a lot of durian burpings – then the person knows their liver is NOT functioning well. And have to check it up and take some measures.
Durian is very heavy for the lymphatic drainage, also.
If there are people wanting to cleanse their body with fruit and vegetable juices, durian is not to be taken during the cleansing period, because is stopping the drainage.
People with varicose veins in the legs, people with headaches (migraines) or people with joint troubles (rheumatic issues) will aggravate after eating durians. They will feel their symptoms worse.
I already mention that durian contains a lot of fatty acids, but they are “good” type of fats, used by our body for protection and by our nervous system and brain for better communication. So for the raw vegans and frutarians, durians are the equivalent of fish, meat, eggs and cheese together – with so much better effect on body’s organs.
Durian doesn’t have cholesterol and will not make one putting on weight, unless one mixes it with other food items such as proteins and animal fats.
In decent amounts, durian is the main source of “proteins” (actually – is so much better – because it contains amino-acids, the main components of the proteins, so body will not have to work hard in the digestive process to get them!) for all the vegans, raw-vegans and frutarians.
Many people will feel very good, very happy and very loving after eating durian.
If one can come and visit the Bao Sheng Durian Farm, and see the durian trees, before eating their fruits, the experience will be complete and will stay for ever with them. From this moment on, they will never be pleased with “second hands” durians, with old or no so good ones.
Because after one tried the best, one will not be satisfied with less than this.
I also slept very good after eating durian, I felt more open spiritually being in the Farm and among the trees and more in contact with the Nature and with myself.
I have learned many good lessons from Mr. Chang, the most important being the lesson of PATIENCE and the lesson of WAITING FOR THE RIGHT MOMENT.
This are all Laws of Nature – but also important Laws in our life.
One cannot eat a good durian in a hurry.
Eating good durian is like the japanese tea ceremony.
Smelling the fruit, admiring it, opening slowly, experiencing the amazement of the sight of the wonderful creamy flesh inside. And then slowly tasting it, sucking the soft part then chewing the skin from outside, keeping everything in mouth for a long time, in order to experience all flavours. It’s exactly like tasting a good chocolate.
Only so much better!
My favourites as a child were the rum and vanilla chocolates.
And I found the same taste in different varietys of durians. I even found a wonderfully 1 hour fresh Red Prawn having both flavours in the same time! Amazing and unforgetable experience!
We spend hours sitting around the table, testing slowly different fruits.
Durian magic was all over us.
I forgot all about my medical knowledges, all about fructose, fatty acids and amino-acids, all about enzymes (living substances in fresh fruits) and vitamins, about minerals and anti-oxidants.
I was only enjoying a delicious creation of Nature – unparalleled by human creation (no pastry or creamy cookie or chocolate could compare to it!).
I felt as if I were in Fruit Paradise – sharing “life” energy with other enthusiasts!
Thank you Mr. Chang for your passion and dedication and for making possible for all of us to have this magical experience.
One can feel Mr. Chang’s enery in his fruit (and his family energy, also, because a lot of the durian trees have been planted by his father, 60 years ago!) and this makes the experience so much valuable!
I have learned in these 4 days at Bao Sheng more than in a whole class of nutrition in Medical School (and I have been to many of them!). Theory and direct experience blended together and offered us the most wonderful time of our holiday.
We have discovered a treasure (Bao means treasure, something valuable – in chinese mandarin language) – the MAGIC OF NATURE thourgh it’s fruits! We are extremely grateful and happy! And wanted to share our happiness with everybody!
Sorina Soescu is a MD, working currently in general practice, specialised in homeopathy, herbal medicine and gemmotherapy, with trainings in medical psychology, chinese traditional medicine, nutrition and detoxification, Master in Public Health, Specialist in Health Management.
She is running her own Health Center in Constanta, Romania (“Centrul Natura” – means “Nature Health Center”), specialised in diet and detoxification.
She has more than 20 years of experience working with people to improve their diet and life style and recover their health.
Sorry for the Romanian language, but soon all the materials on site will be also available in English language – all are about diet, nutrition and detoxification