Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 83

Longan: Today's post is another item that I truly had no knowledge of before trying. I saw a bin of these near the star fruit yesterday while at the BHFM, and I picked up a small handful to take home. I'd never even heard of a longan, but based on its appearance, I assumed it was some sort of fruit. Each piece was covered with a hard shell, and was about the size of a grape. At $3/lb a pound, it wasn't going to hurt me to try a couple.
According to Wikipedia (which has become my new best friend), longan is a "tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, known for its edible fruit." Apparently they can be eaten as is, so I peeled the hard shell off and was left with what looked like an oversized, semi-translucent grape. I popped it in my mouth, and the taste reminded me instantly of something I tried for the first time recently: lychee. The flavor was almost identical, and the texture was the same as well. This one had a large, smooth seed in the middle, so I chewed around it until I was able to spit it out clean. Not bad, but not nearly as much flavor I'd hoped for.

If you like fresh lychee, you'll definitely like longan. FYI, longan translates as "cat's eye" in Malaysia. Once you see one of these up close and peeled, it makes sense.

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