Produced by the longan tree, longan fruit is a sweet, juicy fruit that has a variety of uses in both culinary dishes and traditional medicine.
History Of The Longan Fruit
The longan is thought to come from the region between Myanmar and southern China. Other places that it’s been reported include those such as Vietnam, New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and India.
The Longan fruit has been around for quite a while. Early records indicate that it goes all the way back to 200 BC, and was a staple of the Han Dynasty.
In the 1900s, the longan tree made its way to Hawaii and Florida.
Though it has been popular for quite a while in China, the longan is considered a pretty new fruit in other parts of the world, and has only been known in other countries for the last two centuries or so.
Most longan crops are found in southern China, northern Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, and India, among others.
The Longan Tree
The climate and soil type have a lot to do with the size and flowering capabilities of the longan tries.
The fruit produced by the longan tree typically occurs in clusters about 2.5 centimeters wide. The peel is thin and slightly hairy, but the inside flesh is usually translucent and greenish in color.
A Sweet, Juicy Fruit
This delicious fruit is commonly used in Asian soups, desserts, and other snacks. Both the seed and the peel are usually not eaten, but the flesh of the fruit itself is great in a variety of dishes.
Though the longan fruit is often compared to lychees, they actually have a drier sweetness that one might find more similar to dates.
The longan is used frequently in sweet dessert soups and other Chinese sweet-and-sour dishes.
Most of the demand for longan fruit comes from Asia and Asian communities in North America, Australia, and Europe.
Because the fruit is so new in the eyes of the rest of the world, there haven’t been too many commercial crops around for long. The food is most commonly found n China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Thailand.
A Dessert Soup
One of these popular dessert soups is Longan tong sui. This delicious and soothing recipe is typically used at the Chinese New Year.
In addition to longan fruit, the recipe calls for snow fungus, red dates, ginkgo nuts, sugar, and water.
A Staple Of Folk Culture
Because of the fruit’s popularity in China, it has gained quite a bit of symbolic and folk importance throughout history.
The longan is referred to as the “dragon eye” in Chinese and is thought to bring ample individual to individuals who eat the fruit.
Of course, some of the folklore and folk medicine ideas about the longan fruit have become one of the various uses of the fruit itself.
Longan fruit is used in herbal medicine and Chinese food therapy and is also used to this day to promote relaxation.
Grab A Longan Fruit Snack
If you haven’t yet had the longan fruit, you should definitely give yourself the chance to try this sweet snack!