Not now…

The fruits started coming out last month in July which would be something rather unusual if it had been in my growing up years in the 50’s and 60’s. Way back then, the fruit season would be, without fail, during the rainy or landas season around the end of the year, not now, but these days, it could be anytime at all. At times, it seems that we have those very much coveted fruits all year round!

The sad thing, however, is that even though we have all those fruits in abundance, they do not come cheap. I bought some dabai (our local black olives) the other day for RM25.00 a kilo. When they first appeared, believe it or not, they were going for some RM40-50 a kilo. I simply can’t believe that there were people willing to buy at those cutthroat prices.

I did buy those cheaper ones a couple more times and the other day, I bought these…

…that came from Sarikei, at RM30.00 a kilo at the same place, our neighbourhood shop in the next lane from my house. Even the boss said that he could not understand why there is so much dabai in the market now, mountains everywhere alongside all the durians, the mangosteens, the rambutans and so on, and yet the prices never come down!

These were quite good, more lemak (richer) than the cheaper ones I bought earlier but there were parts in every fruit that would remain hard no matter how long we waited so we just ate what we could and threw the rest of each fruit away. For this reason and at that kind of price, I sure would not want to buy those from the same area again!

There are durians too…every day but no, I have not bought a single one. I told the lady boss that we are not into the fruit, will eat when there’s any like when somebody gives us some but we never buy our own and she was shocked to hear that especially seeing how everybody else loves the fruit so much.

My missus loves the wild ones, the buah pakan/pakon a lot though and it so happened that when I was at the shop that day, there was a van there delivering boxes and boxes of the fruit…

Of course, I asked for a few and the boss picked four for me, RM25.00 a kilo. In the past, these would appear only after the durian season but not now. At this point in time, the market is still flooded with durians and these have made the appearance already. Time sure has changed – it really isn’t the same anymore.

Back in those days when my girl was teaching in the rural school in the jungle, when in season, you will see all the makeshift stalls all along the road and the ethnic inhabitants would be selling them to passers-by at only RM10.00 for four. I paid RM25.00 for the 4 I bought that day. Sigh!!!

Thankfully, they…

…were really very good and my missus was thrilled beyond words. She said they were exceptionally good…

…because they had ripened in the tree before dropping off by themselves as opposed to those that people plucked and left there to ripen eventually. Well, that was quite a lot that we had that day. I guess I shall not be buying anymore, not at those prices.

Moving away from the fruits, there was some leftover rice in the fridge so I fried it for my breakfast…

…the other morning.

I usually fry with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and at times, with sambal belacan too but that day, I saw Nancy’s fried rice with dried shrimps (hay bee/udang kering). I never used that ingredient because I usually wake up at around 4.00 a.m. every day and I would be cooking breakfast at 5 something. I told Nancy that I could not imagine myself pounding away and waking up everybody in the neighbourhood and she told me that she did not pound them – she just cut the dried shrimps into small bits.

I decided I would do the same that morning and I threw in some ikan bilis and also some of the chor liao (use as ingredient) prawns that the nice and generous lady at my favourite fish and seafood stall gave me that day when I stopped by to buy some sotong (squids) to cook the Thai glass noodles seafood salad that my girl requested for. She did not have any pek hay (seawater prawns), big or small, that morning but I spotted a bit of this teng khak (hard shell) ones in a bag by the side. Those would be cheaper, not so nice, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I offered to buy from the lady but she simply refused to sell them to me. She said they were leftovers from the day before and she had already kept it in the freezer overnight. Instead, she insisted on giving them to me free of charge and she even helped to remove the heads and shell! Isn’t she great?

The fried rice was nice with all the added ingredients but no, I could hardly detect the taste of the dried shrimps. Perhaps I can pound some in broad daylight and keep in a container to store in the fridge for use as and when I need it – I bet it would be more prominent then.

SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441) is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

18 thoughts on “Not now…”

  1. I am not a fan of Dabai but a great lover of durian. Sadly to say, I have never eaten nor seen this wild durian in my entire life, believe me or not.. 😅😅. Is the taste of the wild durian the same as the normal durian? Just curious to know. I can bet your fried rice will taste extremely nice especially with all the extra add on ingredients.

    1. Oh? You do not get this wild durian in Kuching? I’m sure you do but you have not been looking hard enough…or they get sold out real quickly so you never have the chance. If I am not wrong, my cousin has a tree or trees at her hubby’s fruit garden in Serian.

      It’s not like durian, not so messy and mushy, more like nicely creamy, the smell is pleasant, not pungent and off-putting like the durian, There are other varieties of wild durians though, some with very spiky thorns, some with a kerosene smell. We only like this one!

  2. I haven’t tasted dabai so I can’t imagine how it tastes like. I am a lover of durians and my eyes sparkle when I see the beautiful durians you bought for your missus. I guess I have enough of durians for this season. I am lazy to take out the pounder to pound the dried shrimps, so I usually use them whole or chopped. Heheheee.

    1. I do not have a problem with the pounder – it is always there, ready to be used just that I do not intend to make so much noise so early in the morning.

      Yes, those wild durians looked really good and tasted great too – I saw some more when I drove past the shop yesterday but my missus told me not to buy anymore as they are not that cheap. RM25.00 should be enough to buy a whole lot of roast chicken, I think and we can derive a lot of enjoyment from that.

  3. Those durians are quite unusual and I have never seen them before. There was a promotion for D24 durians on Sama Sama Lokal yesterday and I bought 4 boxes at RM78.00. Quite worth it and a lot more affordable than Musang King.

    1. No, thank you. We have Musang King here, available anytime – there are people here importing them from your side but we prefer these wild durians. So much cheaper and nicer too!!!

  4. My mum liked buah pakan, remember my parents bought this fruit quite often when I was small kid. Now hardly find people selling it. Or maybe we look at wrong place.

    Tasted durian this year and I still have few pack of frozen dabai. Can enjoy later and slowly.

    1. My cousin in Kuching showed me photos of their buah pakan, hubby Bidayuh, their fruit garden in Serian. Don’t think they have a lot for sale but if there are people planting, it should be easily available there, not just in the central region of Sarawak, like dabai. I saw on Facebook people showing photos of dabai (and durians) from Lubok Antu. Looks like people have started planting!

      We have had quite a lot of dabai and we had this buah pakan already, should be enough for this season. The way things are going, they should be available again soon enough. All gone crazy, climate change.

    1. I am not sure about the oil but I vaguely recall them going into producing dabai products, can’t remember what. The thing is they are so expensive so you can imagine how much their products would cost. Anyway, olive oil is not cheap either.

      Incidentally, I think I did read somewhere that these are not related to the western olives. But the shape, including the seeds, is similar to that of those preserved olives from China – the ones sold in three’s wrapped in coloured transparent paper. As kids, we loved taking the paper and putting it over our eyes like sunglasses. We call those “kana”…and we call dabai or kana, black olives.

    1. We love this variety. There are other varieties of wild durians too, some blood red in colour. One variety has spiky thorns, cannot touch with your bare hands, will get pricked instantly, and one variety smells like kerosene. I know there are people who love those a lot, not us.

    1. Dunno when they will allow inter-state travel. I hear they send local fruits like dabai (our local black olives) vacuum-packed to people in KL. Maybe they can do the same with this wild durian too.

  5. At first I thought it is a similar fruit that I know of called duhat but its totally different, I saw in Wikipedia this thing tastes of avocado and is seasoned with salt or soy sauce, is that true? Totally new to me

    1. Not into both, nor durian. These fruits are “heaty”, must refrain from over-indulging. That is why a lot of people fall sick during the fruit season.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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