peeled longan
Food - Drink
What You Need To Know About The Tropical Longan Fruit
Modern grocery stores provide a wide variety of colorful fruits, and if your local market offers exotic tropical fruits, you'll want to learn about them before buying. Originating in Southeast Asia, longans (Dimocarpus longan) are often described as similar to lychees, but here's what to expect if you don't know much about either of these fruits.
Longans, which are mostly grown in southern China and northern regions of Vietnam and Thailand, are roughly the size of a large grape, with sweet, firm, slightly musky white flesh surrounded by tough, tan, leathery skin that must be peeled. They also have a black pit in the center, fitting for a fruit whose name means "dragon's eye" in Cantonese.
Longans are in the same family as the lychee, rambutan, and akee, but are less succulent than lychees. Like many of its siblings, longans are extremely nutritious and just one serving will provide you with nearly a day's dose of vitamin C, plus plenty of potassium, and the fruit is even used medicinally in China to increase energy and reduce stress.
Chinese cooks often add longan pulp to wine or congee porridge, while Thai cooks add the fruit to curries, stir-fries, ice cream, and even noodle soup. Modern applications include desserts like cheesecake and cocktails, and since longan is sold fresh, dried, and canned, you have a variety of distinct textures and flavors to choose from.