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The Longan is one of the most prized fruits in Asia. In Thailand, the Longan is very common and is usually eaten at room temperature. The Thai name for this special fruit is lam-yai. The nickname given this fruit by the Chinese is "Dragon's Eye", because of the characteristic white, eye-shaped mark on the pit. The Longan is a close relative to the lychee and rambutan.
Peel off the smooth skin to extract the fruit, then eat like a cherry, removing the seed. The rosy flavor of the Longan is reminiscent of the strawberry and muscat grape. The Longan can be eaten by itself or used in salads, with vegetables, and in sauces.
Pick Longans that are brownish in color. To avoid moisture loss, store Longans wrapped in a paper towel and in a perforated plastic bag. Produces very low ethylene. Keep humidity level high and at a temperature of 34 - 40F.
Longans should not be peeled until just before they are served. Remove peel and black seed. Sometimes the seed is used in cooking, or for tea. When using Longans in cooking, add at the last minute for a fragrant addition.
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