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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

LONGAN



Common Name: Longan
Vernacular Name:  Lungan, Dragon's eye
Botanical Name: Dimocarpus longan
Specimens From: Thailand

Longan, a native fruit to Southern China, is now grown in several Asian countries with Thailand leading the way and also in a few tropical states of the USA. The name, longan, is a Cantonese word (a dialect of Chinese) meaning "Dragon's eye". It is so called because, the translucent white flesh covering the black shiny seed resemblance the eyeball of an oriental dragon.

There are several varieties of longan. Some with very thin, tasteless flesh and hence, unpopular but this improved variety is meaty with thick and musky sweet flesh. Needless to say, it is very popular in South-east Asia, overtaken its bigger cousin (same family), the lychee.

Longan can be additive. The more you eat, the more you want! Just use both your thumb's nail to press the thin shell open. It is sweet and soft but not as juicy as lychee. It is great for snacking when being a couch potato.

Eating longan is believed to reduce fatigue, improve nervous system, improve stomach functioning, treatment for insomnia and several other claims.

For those who prefer it peel for the easy way out, canned longans in heavy syrup can be easily found in Asia.
And for the dried longan, known as "guiyuan" in Chinese Mandarin. The flesh will turn dark brown to black and will shrink, sticking to the seed. It is very popular in Asian's cooking especially in herbal soups and sweet desserts. But you can eat it raw too and it is sticky, chewy and sweet.
The dried longan can also be used for tea or plain drink. It is better to slice apart the dried flesh and discard the seeds, so as to let it fully absorb into the drink.

On its own with only hot water, it may not be sweet enough. Add sugar, red dates, goji berries, tea or any combinations of them to suit your taste. The photo shown is a glass of dried longan drink with nothing added.


Fruit: Longan; Dimocarpus longan; Sapindaceae.


Other fruits in the same family: Fijian Longan, Lychee, PulasanRambutan.


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31 comments:

Kim said...

hi Fruity
I haven't heard of this fruit before....sounds tasty....
I have tried lychees......so I will see if I can find these in a can .. :)

Dana said...

I LOVE longans and wish I could get them here!

kml said...

They remind me of grapes in the first photo. Do the grow on a vine or in a tree?

Karin said...

I have never seen any logans in Sweden. However, I found them described on a Swedish website: A Chinese fruit, available canned, deseeded and peeled.

I find your blog very interesting, because I learn new things all the time.

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Nice one as usual fruity :-)
haven't heard/seen this before...will explore it now :-)

RennyBA said...

Looks soooo tasty - would have no problem being additive :-)

Fruit species said...

Hi Kim:
You are finally here:) Welome aboard! In my opinion, I prefer this than lychee. They do grow cultivate longan in some parts of your cuntry. Should not be a problem finding it, just wait for the right season

Hi Dana:
That means you had tried it before and most people lik it somehow

Hi KML:
Haha, if only grapes come in those colors. They grow in tree, some small and some tall trees.

Hi Karin:
Oh, so you never had the chance to laying your hands on these. It's pretty nice, worth it! Glad that this blog does provide you some useful info, thanks

Hi Sirisha:
Northern India grew these tasty fruit but mostly in the wild

Hi Rennyba:
I bet you would be too if you had tried it, yummy!

Kim said...

hi Fruity
I will look out for them.. :)
the award looks very nice on your site against the green....
have a great day :)

Kittee said...

i love longans!
proof: http://www.pakupaku.info/blog/longan.jpg

xo
kittee

Tee said...

Whoa - I have never even seen or heard of this fruit before! Very cool.

Tammy said...

At first glance they look like a potato, but the insides do look like an eye. I don't know if I would try them or not, the eye thing kind of creeps me out.

cyberpenguin said...

Hi Fruity/Fruitspecies,
Another interesting post! When you get the chance, please stop by my blog, http://cookingwithcorey.blogspot.com, to pick up your "Awesome Guy Blogger" award.

Congrats! And thanks for being my pal on BlogCatalog & Spicypage!
-C

NeoAuteur said...

This is one of my favorite fruits. Looks tasty!

Fruit species said...

Hi Kim: The contrast looks not too bad. Thanks for the award

Hi Kittee:
Haha, can't beat them, join them...

Hi Tee:
Welcome aboard. Guess your place don't sell it. It is really nice

Hi Tammy:
Well, maybe a small potato. Don't be deceived by its look, it tastes even better than grapes, at least to me.

Hi CP:
Thanks for the award. Will DHL to get it :)

Hi Neoauteur:
Welcome aboard. My favorite too.. As good as it looks

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

OOOH, I want to taste these in both soups and desserts!!!

Hugs, JJ

tigerfish said...

I love longans! Wow, first time visiting your blog...and see so many fruits. Reminded me of home.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Shuckle said...

Im not a fan of lychee I wonder how much this differs in taste

Fruit species said...

Hi JJ:
Have you tried it before? It is very nice, yummy!

Hi Tigerfish:
Welcome aboard and hope you enjoy your stay here. Tigerfish reminds me of an aquarium fish, isn't it? Cheers from Fruity

Hi Shuckle:
Welocme aboard too. Longan is just as sweet but slightly different kind of sweetness and not as juicy as lychee. It won't drip and mess up the floor. cheers from Fruity

shirleytwofeathers said...

I have eaten these.. but the way they look does creep me out and when I eat them, I have to turn my brain off and not think about how they look and only concentrate on the taste.

morinn said...

hi Fruity! I really love eating longans! but sometimes it hurts the mouth when it's a little small.

Fruit species said...

Hi shirley:
Just don't think about it. I'm used to it..:)

Hi morinn:
Why would it hurts? Small isn't easier to eat?

Serena said...

Longan is great. Malaysia have another variety? species? called Mata Kucing (Cat's eye). It is smaller and less fleshy. May need to google that one. ;)

To the chinese, longan is heaty too. :D But I love the fruit.

Fruit species said...

Yes, those thin skin cultivars. Of coz, the thicker ones are better :)

aaidjs said...

Hello Dear , Today i looked at my Nespula fruit tree and i told my daughter that i would like to write about jam and cakes with nespula fruit but we cant find a name of this fruit on English language!!Her is a photo of nespula tree and if you recognize a tree or fruit please help me with name for it!!Thanks!!The Latin name for this fruit is eriobotrya japonica!!!You can see a picture of this fruit on my blog http://stanka.bravejournal.com

Anonymous said...

Hey all,

Dragon Herbs in Santa Monica, California has some REALLY great Longan!

-Abe

Anonymous said...

I bought some dragon eyes because i wanted to see how they were... TRUST ME THERE GROSS. i threw up from them and so did my family. AND the smell of them is just horrible it smells like sperm its gross

April said...

Longan (the Chinese pronounce it somewhat like Lone-gyan) is a very different tasting fruit for the western pallet! I love it! Then again, I very much love trying different foods and there is rarely something that I do not like. Initially, it tasted like a weird, old pear (I know, sounds gross), but after I chewed it and swallowed it I had this sudden aftertaste of sweet, syrup tasting like roasted vanilla! I ate more and more and eventually I didn't have the impresssion of it tasting weird anymore. It tasted sweet and syrupy. I guess it just took quite a few bites to get used to it. I ate about 1 and a half pounds of longans over three days. They were delicious. I would like to grow it.

suman said...

Well I am happy no about the fruit , its looking too cute .

suman
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Free Satellite TV

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Anonymous said...

love the fruits so much...but it make me cough everytimes i took it...and i dont know why...

Anonymous said...

try looking for isau fruit and kakus fruits...almost similar but not the same