Some crave it and some can’t stand to be in the same room. Nothing draws definite lines like the question, ‘Do you want some durian?’, but in the inaugural Durian and Kopi Fest in Keningau, Sabah, it was all hands on the spiky king of fruits during the two-day event. The joyful noise from the 60 stalls was infectious, with everyone enjoying the diverse flavours of durian, local seasonal fruits and coffee together, providing support to the local agricultural businesses of the Tenom, Keningau and Tambunan region in the grand celebration.
Regionally, the durian’s demand and popularity soared exponentially — an incredible 400% year-on-year, according to a HSBC report published in September this year, led solely by a craze in China for the stinky, spiky fruit. Local and foreign tourists at the Durian & Kopi Fest were also able to enjoy various cultural and traditional music performances, a durian judging competition, and educational workshops that explained the cultivation and production process of this iconic product; the deeper view into the richness of Sabah’s interior heritage was truly a unique experience for all that were present.