Have you experienced the “dragon’s eye?” This sweet and tropical fruit is a member of the same family of fruit as lychee, a crowd-pleaser on FruitStand.
Longan is high in antioxidants and vitamin C, making it a wonderful and healthy snack or addition to desserts, drinks, and even savory plates.
The longan, or Dimocarpus longan, is a tropical tree native to tropical Asia and China that is a member of the soapberry family along with lychee and rambutan. These trees typically grow 30-40 feet tall, but can reach a height of 100 feet with the right conditions. The earliest recorded mention of the longan tree dates back to the Han Dynasty in 200 BC. The trees started making their way out of Asia and into Florida, Hawaii, and California in the early 1900's.
The longan fruit grows in clusters that hang in droops from the tree. Each circular fruit is about 1 inch in diameter, typically ranging from the size of an olive to a small plum. The word longan means 'dragon's eye' in Cantonese because of the appearance of the seed when the shell has been removed and the fruit exposed.
Longan trees love tropical climates, growing well throughout China, Vietnam, India, Thailand and the east coast of Australia.
In the U.S. you can also find them in Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Texas, Georgia, Arizona and in a small part of California where the temperatures don't drop too low.
China is the largest producer of Longan in the world followed by Vietnam and Thailand. Vietnam's and Thailand's economies are heavily reliant on the successful cultivation and shipping of longan and lychee.
As exotic fruits have become more and more in demand, it has pushed the growers in Australia and the U.S. to up their production.
Longan season is typically the late summer. The availability will depend on what part of the world you are in. In the US, you can expect to find them from July to September.
Whether longan is organic or not will depend on the farm from which it comes. At FruitStand, we partner with family and specialty farms for exceptional quality of produce.
The longan that you have received from Serendib Farms in Florida is not certified organic but has been grown following sustainable farming practices.