Monday, March 14, 2011


I purchased some longan from an Asian food market the other day and it was a great find. I hesitated before buying it, because it looked kind of ratty. 
The brown, round, large grape-size outer shells look dried-out and unappetizing. 
The only reason I bought them is I remembered that they are one of the 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die. I half expected to crack them open and find some grizzled old dried out fruit. Instead, I peeled off the bark or leather-like skin and was pleased to find what looked like lychee or rambutan, 
a white gelatinous looking, thick membrane wrapped around a large black seed. 
It is sometimes known as "dragon eye" because the black seed shows through the translucent flesh and looks like an eyeball. 
What's more, it is very sweet like lychee or rambutan. 
I can't believe I've never heard of it before. The sweetness of the fruit apparently diminishes in transport which makes me wonder how good it could be when tasted from the source in South and Southeast Asia, particularly Southern China.

While in New York City's Chinatown recently we spotted some longan that was still connected to its branches and looked more like what you would see on a tree.

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