LONGAN ‘Dimocarpus Longan’ or ‘Euphoria Longana’ is a tropical tree that produces edible fruit. It is one of the most famous tropical trees of the saponary family (Sapindaceae), which also belongs to the litchi. Included in the Sapindaceae family are litchi, rambutan, guarana, korlan, pitomba, spanish lime and ackee. Longan is commonly associated with litchi, which is similar in structure but more aromatic in taste. It originates in South Asia.
The longan (literally “dragon eye”) is so called because it resembles an eyeball when its fruits are shelled (the black seed shows through translucent meat as a pupil / iris). The seed is small, round and hard, and a lacquered black resembling enamel. The fully mature and freshly harvested fruit has a shell similar to a bark, thin and soda, which facilitates the squeezing of the fruit squeezing the pulp as if it “breaks” a sunflower seed.
The fruit is sweet, juicy and succulent. Seed and shell are not consumed. Besides being consumed fresh and raw, longan is often used in Asian soups, snacks, desserts and sweet, fresh or dried foods, and sometimes preserved and canned in syrup. The taste is different from the litchi; while the longan has a sweeter sweetness, the litchi are often juicy with a more tropical and harsh sweetness.
Dried longan is often used in Chinese cuisine and in Chinese sweet soups. In Chinese food therapy and phytotherapy, it is believed to have a relaxing effect. Contrary to the fresh fruit, which is juicy and white, the dried longan meat is dark brown, almost black.
It is quite resistant to cold climates, however it is advisable to keep it sheltered during the cold months at least 5 ° degrees.
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