Longan is a fruit that is closely related to lychee. It is native to Southern Asia. In Chinese, the name longan literally translates to ‘dragon eye’, due to the resemblance of the fruit to an eyeball when the fruit is shelled. The fruit is spherical with translucent flesh surrounding a black seed. When ripe, the thin brown outer shell is easily removed by squeezing the fruit, similar as if one is ‘cracking’ a sunflower seed. The fruit is sweet, juicy, and often eaten fresh. While often compared to lychees, longans have a drier sweetness.
How to prepare Longan:
Longans are usually eaten fresh. However the fruit is also used in various Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-or-sour dishes. Longans can also be canned or dried.
Farms that grow Longan: