Many cultivars of durian can be found in Southeast Asia; the mon thong, or Thai "golden pillow," has New York almost all to itself. For export purposes, a major virtue of the mon thong is sturdiness. The aroma, infamous for all durians, can be coarsely pungent; the flesh, often gooey, is very sweet.
Enter the musang king ($19, at $7 per pound), named for the northeast Malaysia town of Gua Musang, or "cave of the civet," and better known in Singapore by the grander name of cat mountain king. It's also called durian kunyit, or "turmeric," after the color of the flesh, which is firmer than that of the mon thong, yet still creamy, faintly bitter, but still sweet. The aroma is less crude than that of the mon thong, though "subtly perfumed" would give it too much credit.
At Asia Market, where the point-of-purchase display might well be a countertop box of kaffir limes, packaged foods from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines mix freely. The depth and breadth of their Southeast Asian offerings is unmatched in the neighborhood — reportedly, it's a go-to grocery for a number of well-known chefs — but it's also a snacker's paradise.
Previously: Aling Conching polvoron pinipig (6 oz., $1.35), from the Philippines, toasted wheat cakes in my favorite style, with crispy young rice; Beauty Lime Orchard preserved sweetened lime (150 g., about $1.50), from Indonesia, an "ideal visiting gift"; White King brand Champ-O-Rado mix (8 oz., about $1.50), from the Philippines, which makes a rice-laden cousin to Mexican champurrado; Chanhong sambal udang (210 g., $3), a Malaysian fermented shrimp paste.
71½ Mulberry St. (Bayard-Canal Sts.), Manhattan