Durian sebelum abad ke 20.

Durian ! Siapa yang tidak mengenal buah ini, buah yang kelewat terkenal. Buah asli asia tenggara yang telah tersebar di seluruh dunia. Barang siapa yang bermukim di Asia Tenggara jelas mengetahui buah ini. Tapi di bagian bumi lain, buah ini masih merupakan buah yang teramat asing. Coba ketik saja kata kunci, “eating durian” pada mesin video youtube. Ratusan ribu hasil penelusuran video akan segera keluar dan menampilkan video-video orang-orang yang asing melihatnya apalagi mencoba keberaniannya dengan memakan durian. Yup, mencoba keberanian untuk memakan durian terdengar sangat aneh, tapi menarik melihat mimik-mimik orang-orang itu memakan durian untuk pertama kalinya. Sebegitu asingnya buah ini, padahal ini sudah tahun 2017, dekade kedua abad 21.

Si raja buah (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian)

Bagaimana dengan pesona buah durian di abad 18 atau 19 ? tentu tidak ada reportase youtube untuk melihat mimik orang-orang yang memakan durian. Yang ada hanya tulisan, laporan tertulis dari rasa yang mereka alami ketika melihat atau makan durian.

Cover buku Kepulauan Nusantara yang menampilkan buah-buahan termasuk durian

Tulisan pertama yang membuat saya sadar pesona durian adalah pengalaman dari naturalis A.R. Wallace. Dalam bukunya The Malay Archipelago, Wallace menjelaskan dengan detil pengalamannya bertemu si durian dalam beberapa kali kesempatannya.

I afterwards shot two adult females and two young ones of different ages, all of which I preserved. One of the females, with several young ones, was feeding on a Durian tree with unripe fruit; and as soon as she saw us she began breaking off branches and the great spiny fruits with every appearance of rage, causing such a shower of missiles as effectually kept us from approaching too near the tree.

Yah setidaknya, bertemu dengan orang utan yang makan durian adalah salah satu pengalaman Wallace di Kalimantan. Mencoba menembak orang utan yang sedang memakan durian, adalah hal lain yang perlu dicatat dari Wallace mengenai kepintaran orang utan untuk menggunakan durian sebagai senjata dan kepintaran Wallace untuk menghindari tembakan durian yang dilemparkan si orang utan.

Buah favorit orang utan (http://animalia-life.club/other/orangutan-eating-durian.html)
The Durian is an especial favourite, and quantities of this delicious fruit are destroyed wherever it grows surrounded by forest, but they will not cross clearings to get at them. It seems wonderful how the animal can tear open this fruit, the outer covering of which is so thick and tough, and closely covered with strong conical spines. It probably bites off a few of these first, and then, making a small hole, tears open the fruit with its powerful fingers.

Selama berburu orang utan Wallace juga mencatat bahwa durian adalah buah favorit orang utan. Kekagumannya terlihat sewaktu berburu orang utan dan memperhatikannya makan durian. Wallace mungkin lebih heran lagi kalau tahu bahwa gajah dan bahkan harimau juga suka durian.

Lebih menarik lagi adalah penjelasan detil dan panjangnya uraian mengenai buah durian dibandingkan buah lainnya sewaktu berada di seputaran Sarawak, Kalimantan. Siapa sangka, sebuah durian bisa dituang dalam segitu panjangnya tulisan.

The banks of the Sarawak River are everywhere covered with fruit trees, which supply the Dyaks with a great deal of their food. The Mangosteen, Lansat, Rambutan, Jack, Jambou, and Blimbing, are all abundant; but most abundant and most esteemed is the Durian, a fruit about which very little is known in England, but which both by natives and Europeans in the Malay Archipelago is reckoned superior to all others. The old traveller Linschott, writing in 1599, says: "It is of such an excellent taste that it surpasses in flavour all the other fruits of the world, according to those who have tasted it." And Doctor Paludanus adds: "This fruit is of a hot and humid nature. To those not used to it, it seems at first to smell like rotten onions, but immediately when they have tasted it, they prefer it to all other food. The natives give it honourable titles, exalt it, and make verses on it."

When brought into a house the smell is often so offensive that some persons can never bear to taste it. This was my own case when I first tried it in Malacca, but in Borneo I found a ripe fruit on the ground, and, eating it out of doors, I at once became a confirmed Durian eater.

Ternyata, pertama kalinya Wallace bertemu dengan buah durian adalah sewaktu di Malaka, meskipun dari uraiannya tidak memberikan indikasi pertemuan yang menyenangkan. Pertemuan yang lebih menyenangkan yang membuatnya menjadi penganut klan durian terjadi sewaktu ia datang ke tanah asal durian di Kalimantan, mungkin di Sarawak ini.

The Durian grows on a large and lofty forest tree, somewhat resembling an elm in its general character, but with a more smooth and scaly bark. The fruit is round or slightly oval, about the size of a large cocoanut, of a green colour, and covered all over with short stout spines the bases of which touch each other, and are consequently somewhat hexagonal, while the points are very strong and sharp. 

Heksagonal jelas bukan yang ada di pikiran saya ketika melihat durian.

It is so completely armed, that if the stalk is broken off it is a difficult matter to lift one from the ground. The outer rind is so thick and tough, that from whatever height it may fall it is never broken. From the base to the apex five very faint lines may be traced, over which the spines arch a little; these are the sutures of the carpels, and show where the fruit may be divided with a heavy knife and a strong hand. The five cells are satiny white within, and are each filled with an oval mass of cream-coloured pulp, imbedded in which are two or three seeds about the size of chestnuts. 

Massa daging buah yang oval berwarna krim, yang menyelimuti biji yang sebesar kacang chestnut. Terdengar sangat menggiurkan !

This pulp is the eatable part, and its consistency and flavour are indescribable. A rich butter-like custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but intermingled with it come wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, brown sherry, and other incongruities. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid, nor sweet, nor juicy; yet one feels the want of more of these qualities, for it is perfect as it is. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. 

Deskripsi ini tampak seperti kata-kata yang keluar saat menonton acara masak yang bikin ngiler penontonnya, imajinasi memberikan bayangan seorang masterchef yang sedang menikmati makanan lezat. Tapi saya jelas tidak bisa tidak setuju ketika Wallace bilang ‘semakin dimakan semakin susah untuk berhenti makan’.

In fact to eat Durians is a new sensation, worth a voyage to the East to experience.

Yup, makan durian jelas alasan yang kuat untuk bepergian.

When the fruit is ripe it falls of itself, and the only way to eat Durians in perfection is to get them as they fall; and the smell is then less overpowering. When unripe, it makes a very good vegetable if cooked, and it is also eaten by the Dyaks raw. In a good fruit season large quantities are preserved salted, in jars and bamboos, and kept the year round, when it acquires a most disgusting odour to Europeans, but the Dyaks appreciate it highly as a relish with their rice. There are in the forest two varieties of wild Durians with much smaller fruits, one of them orange-coloured inside; and these are probably the origin of the large and fine Durians, which are never found wild. 

Wallace jelas termasuk orang yang beruntung, mencoba berbagai jenis durian yang khas di Kalimantan, yang sampai sekarang masih sulit ditemui di luar Kalimantan.

It would not, perhaps, be correct to say that the Durian is the best of all fruits, because it cannot supply the place of the subacid juicy kinds, such as the orange, grape, mango, and mangosteen, whose refreshing and cooling qualities are so wholesome and grateful; but as producing a food of the most exquisite flavour, it is unsurpassed. If I had to fix on two only, as representing the perfection of the two classes, I should certainly choose the Durian and the Orange as the king and queen of fruit.

Yes, pengakuan sebagai raja buah dari si naturalis terkenal. Apa lagi yang mesti diperdebatkan?

The Durian is, however, sometimes dangerous. When the fruit begins to ripen it falls daily and almost hourly, and accidents not unfrequently happen to persons walking or working under the trees. When a Durian strikes a man in its fall, it produces a dreadful wound, the strong spines tearing open the flesh, while the blow itself is very heavy; but from this very circumstance death rarely ensues, the copious effusion of blood preventing the inflammation which might otherwise take place. A Dyak chief informed me that he had been struck down by a Durian falling on his head, which he thought would certainly have caused his death, yet he recovered in a very short time.

Barangkali ini awal mula peribahasa bagai mendapat durian runtuh, tapi mendapat durian runtuh agak sulit diterima apabila runtuhnya di kepala atau bahkan dilempar orang utan dari atas.

Poets and moralists, judging from our English trees and fruits, have thought that small fruits always grew on lofty trees, so that their fall should be harmless to man, while the large ones trailed on the ground. Two of the largest and heaviest fruits known, however, the Brazil-nut fruit (Bertholletia) and Durian, grow on lofty forest trees, from which they fall as soon as they are ripe, and often wound or kill the native inhabitants. From this we may learn two things: first, not to draw general conclusions from a very partial view of nature; and secondly, that trees and fruits, no less than the varied productions of the animal kingdom, do not appear to be organized with exclusive reference to the use and convenience of man.
Brazil Nut dan komparasinya dengan tangan. (http://rio.wikia.com/wiki/Brazil_Nut)

Dari sedikit penelusuran, Brazil-nut lebih mirip kelapa dibandingkan durian, tapi memang besar dan memang buah yang sama endemiknya dengan durian di asia tenggara. Soal rasa, sepertinya durian lebih menarik dibandingkan Brazil-nut.

The lower part of the mountain, behind the town of Ternate, is almost entirely covered with a forest of fruit trees, and during the season hundreds of men and women, boys and girls, go up every day to bring down the ripe fruit. Durians and Mangoes, two of the very finest tropical fruits, are in greater abundance at Ternate than I have ever seen them, and some of the latter are of a quality not inferior to any in the world. Lansats and Mangustans are also abundant, but these do not ripen till a little later.

Di Ternate Wallace ketemu lagi dengan durian, panen durian sepertinya disana waktu Walllace datang. Saya pribadi belum pernah menyicipi durian di Ternate, tapi pasti terlalu enak untuk dilewatkan kalau berkunjung kesana.

Sebenarnya, seperti sudah dikatakan Wallace diatas, ada beberapa orang bule sebelumnya yang telah mengunjungi nusantara dan melihat atau mencicipi durian. Diantaranya ada John Huyghen Linschoten, G.E Rumphius, dan para penulis lain seperti dituturkan W.H. Davenport Adams. Reaksinya bermacam-macam, tapi kekaguman dan keheranan menjadi hal yang sama-sama mereka rasakan.

Buah dan Pohon Durian dalam buku Rumphius. (Rumphius, 1741)

Linschott menjelajah Asia termasuk nusantara di akhir abad ke 16 sekitar tahun 1580an. Bukunya terbit ditahun 1598 untuk edisi bahasa inggrisnya. Deskripsinya yang panjang jelas menarik perhatian Wallace untuk mencoba durian juga pada akhirnya. Beberapa penjelasan Linschoten bahkan diambil sedikit serupa untuk dijadikan tulisan oleh Wallace.

Sedangkan disisi timur nusantara Rumphius aktif mendata flora di wilayahnya, Ambon, termasuk durian ambon yang legit. Penjelasannya mengenai durian tertuang dalam 4 halaman, sayangnya ditulis dalam bahasa Belanda dan Portugis (?), jadi cukup susah menginterpretasikannya.

Penjelasan Durio, Duryon di hal 99. (Rumphius, 1743)

Davenport Adams dalam bukunya The Eastern Archipelago menampilkan rangkuman atau cuplikan penjelajahan wilayah asia tenggara termasuk nusantara. Beberapa bagian dalam bukunya menampilkan (kopian ?) dari cerita Wallace mengenai nusantara, termasuk juga mengenai buah durian itu sendiri. Di sisi lain bukunya, perjalanan Arthur Adams ke Ternate sewaktu menumpang kapal H.M.S Samarang menyebutkan banyaknya pohon durian yang berseling dengan pohon limau di Ternate (hal 381).

Cuplikan cerita Arthur Adams dalam buku Davenport. (D. Adams, 1880)



Pustaka :

Adams, W.H. Davenport. 1880. The Eastern Archipelago. A description of the scenery, animal and vegetable life, people, and physical wonders of the islands of the easterns seas. T. Nelson and Sons. Page 381.

Linschoten, J.H. 1885. The Voyage of John Huyghen Van Linschoten To The East Indies : From the old english translation of 1598 : the first book, containing his description of the east. Printed for the Hakluyt Society. Page 51 – 53.

Rumphius, G.E. 1743. Het Amboinsche kruid-boek. Dat is, beschryving van de meest bekende boomen, heesters, kruiden, land-en water-planten, die men in Amboina, en de omleggende eylanden vind, na haare gedaante, verscheide benamingen, aanqueking, en gebruik: mitsgaders van eenige insecten en gediertens, … door Georgius Everhardus Rumphius, … Nagezien en uitgegeven door Joannes Burmannus, … Eerste [-6] deel, Volume 3. Page 99-104.

Wallace, A.R. 2009. Kepulauan Nusantara: Sebuah Kisah Perjalanan, Kajian Manusia dan Alam. Komunitas Bambu. (Original Title : The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-utan, and the Bird of Paradise: A Narrative of Travel, with Studies of Man and Nature. ISBN13: 9789793731568)













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