The fruits of Pahang, one of the savory pleasures you can enjoy, can be found everywhere as you drive and travel around the state.
As a Malaysian state with an equatorial climate, you can never miss the spread of tropical fruits found in the state.
There are in fact many varieties of fruit trees just growing naturally in the wild, in the vast tropical rain-forests and jungles of Pahang, as food and nutrition for the animals inhabiting them.
And as you drive or travel from the towns of Pahang to the inner rural areas, you will find small orchards ("dusun" or "kebun" in Malay) of one or two acres, or less, of fruit trees sometimes all along the sides of the road.
These orchards may not be visible on first look as the rural Malay owners prefer to grow a mixture of fruit trees instead of only one kind.
The dusun may contain durian, rambutan, guava, langsat, mangosteen and other kinds of fruits. And that is why, from the outside and at first glance, the rural orchards may look like a normal forest of trees, with tall and short trees, no different from the other forests of the country.
Some districts in Pahang are famous or well-known for some fruits. For instance, mangosteen and besta are found in Temerloh. Other districts like Raub, Jerantut, Kuala Lipis and Bentong are famous, not only in Pahang but Malaysia as well, for their sweet and succulent durians.
And if you are on the way to Rompin, look out for succulent pineapples along the roadsides from Nenasi onwards.
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Some of the favorite and popular fruits of Pahang are the durian, rambutan, banana, chiku, papaya, duku, langsat, dukong, mangosteen (besta), mango, chempedak, nangka (jackfruit), sentul, starfruit, pineapple, tangerine, guava, pulasan.
Some of these fruits are not only eaten fresh and raw, but they are also included and made into savory food recipes like porridges, snacks, dishes, jams and preserves.
With an array of fruits, we find an endless variety of shapes, tastes and odour of the fruits themselves.
The durian for instance, has always been maligned by westerners for its odour, said to be malodorous to them and even likened to the smell of toilets.
On the contrary, the smell of durians to Malaysians is perhaps the best smell of all the fruits, and attracts the locals like the smell of sugar to ants. The durian is in fact the unofficial "King of Fruits" in Malaysia.
The fruits of Pahang range from the crunchy to juicy, tender, succulent, sweet, bitter, sour, to the indescribable, in fact the whole range of tastes, smell and shapes.
Through modern methods of growing them, some of these popular fruits are bigger, have smaller seeds or are seedless, or they are combined into a new variety containing new tastes.
Whereas in the past the fruit trees are tall, for instance the durian trees, now with modern techniques of grafting there are dwarf trees to facilitate the plucking of the fruits.
Some of the fruits of Pahang are seasonal while others are perennial.
So for the seasonal ones, like durian and rambutan, there will be a profusion of dishes and snacks utilizing these fruits during their period in season.
All kinds of porridges, dishes, jams and preserves are made from these fruits when they are in season.
For those which are longer lasting, the fruits may be gathered or collected and presented into gift baskets and fresh fruit gifts, and sold in shops and supermarkets.
In the not so distant past the Malays normally give away the fruits, especially when in season, freely to their relatives, friends and neighbours.
But with the advent of commerce, the fruits of Pahang are also now usually sold along the roads, at night and sunday markets and in supermarkets.
The fruits of the commercial orchards are exported and some shipped to neighboring countries like Singapore, Thailand, and even Japan.
With demand from the Middle East countries, the Government is now assisting farmers to find importers from those countries.
Well, just a little information on the fruits of Pahang.
The state is delightfully endowed with so much variety of delectable tropical fruits, and so, if you happen to be in Pahang, do try to savor their exotic tastes, and enjoy.
As always, from me ...
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