A lychee relative, longans are sometimes referred to as the “little brother” of the lychee. Longans, like lychees, hang in grape-like clusters, but are yellowish-red to brown at maturity. They are slightly smaller with a dull brown skin which is smoother than that of the lychee. The translucent flesh is fragrant, spicy yet sweet, and extremely juicy. By putting a small crack in the shell, you can easily squeeze the flesh out. Longans are usually consumed fresh, as a dessert fruit, but when chilled, they also make an excellent addition to a salad.
The seeds of fresh longans can be boiled and eaten, with a distinctive nutty flavor.
The Chinese nickname for longans is “dragon eyes” because when shelled it mbles an eyeball. The black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil.
Longans must be allowed to completely ripen on the tree, and so, they are best consumed as soon after harvest as possible.
Once you receive your order, refrigerate them immediately in a plastic bag to give them a shelf life of up to a week. You can also freeze your longans to enjoy them all year long! Once frozen, they should remain for up to one year in an air-tight freezer bag.
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