Ever since I got to Zamboanga many times a few months ago, I’ve always tried asking:
Are there durians from Jolo here?
But now, I was at the right place and at the right time. No need to travel all the way by boat or plane to Jolo in Sulu but in Zamboanga, at these time of the year, the city is awash with the delectable fruit.
Jolo durians are not those classy, yellowish crossbreeds that one can readily find in the supermarkets or in most stalls. It is a native variety like the malagkit which has whitish pulp, large seeds and smaller in size. And my first and last time I tasted it, I was in ecstasy.
The smell is subtle, and the taste with a hint of tartness but still creamy and sweet. What I do like about this variety is that its really delicious and the smell doesn’t cling much to the fingers. It is a prized fruit in Zamboanga City and, if offered together with other varieties, I will always go with it.
And where to buy these delicious fruits in Zamboanga City? Although many people would point you to the fruitstands along Canelar and some other stalls, these can be expensive. When I was there, the Canelar strip doesn’t have any Jolo durians. The best and surest bet is to head under the mango trees behind the wall of Zamboanga Airport.
Along the Sta. Maria Road near the intersection with Gov. Camins Avenue are makeshift stalls selling different stalls. During Jolo durian season, there are always Muslim vendors there. At the time I ate this, about two weeks ago, it was priced at 50 – 60 pesos a piece. Yes, a piece, not per kilo.
Jolo durian is so unlike other varieties that it is one of my favorite. When in season, do get a chance to eat this one when in Zamboanga City.