Longan Fruit

While at the farmers’ market this week, I stumbled across this fruit I was unfamiliar with. It’s the longan. It’s a relative of the lychee but listed as “near threatened”. I decided I’m going to save the seeds and try to grow a tree, though they will not likely be true to seed. This means, I won’t necessarily get the same tree exactly that these came from. This is why fruit trees are usually grafted.

Once peeled, you can see why they call it “Dragon’s Eye”

Like it’s relative the lychee, they are both in the soapberry family. The shell of this fruit is soft and leathery. The flesh is translucent white and slightly gelatinous in texture. You can see the black pit at the center through the translucent flesh. This is why the Chinese often referred to this fruit as the “Dragon Eye”. The longan has a dry sweetness and a very subtle taste like a bland, white grape. It’s not as sour or juicy as the lychee, but just as refreshing on a hot day.