Thursday, August 7, 2008

Freaky Fruit - Vol. 1 Longans

Anyone who has ever travelled with me will not be surprised that the first thing I did today was head straight to the Ben Thanh market, where you can buy anything. Theres nothing like several hundred hucksters to make you really get a feel for a place. Its very glittery.

The first thing I noticed, other than the smell of mothballs, was that I didn't recognize any of the fruit. (Except for some tiny green bananas, and I'm not eating those). So begins my exploration of South East Asian Fruits. Many of which are in season. Hurray!

First up.... Longans...

To quote "Fruit in Warm Climates"
Closely allied to the glamorous lychee, in the family Sapindaceae, the longan, or lungan, also known as dragon's eye or eyeball, and as mamoncillo chino in Cuba, has been referred to as the "little brother of the lychee", or li-chihnu, "slave of the lychee".
Outside is a hard shell like a peanut (definitely requires cracking with teeth), and inside is a gelatinous fruit that tastes like a cross between grape and melon...with a mouthfeel best described as "eyeball." Net net, totally yummy if you're not snacking during a horror movie.

1 comment:

bookinhandtraveler said...

I love longans! I have a bushel of them on my desk right now. Please compare to rambutan in your next entry. (I consider longan superior simply due to ease of separating fruit from pit.)