California Tropical Fruit Tree Nursery will have fresh longan fruit available, beginning the end of November. They are available for $5/pound with a 10 pound minimum purchase.
Unfamiliar with longan fruit? It is cousin to the lychee, rambutan, guarana, korlan, pitomba, genip and ackee and is native to Southern Asia. The fully ripened, freshly harvested fruit has a bark-like shell, thin, and firm, making the fruit easy to peel by squeezing the pulp out. The fruit is sweet and juicy, and can be eaten raw. Similarly, longan fruit may also be used in Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and and sometimes preserved and canned in syrup. If you are familiar with lychees, longan have a drier sweetness that can be compared to dates, unlike the sour-sweetness found in lychees.
Need inspiration? Here are some popular longan recipes to get you started!