Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mystery Fruit

Do you know what it is?  I'll give you some hints.   

I spent most of today in the city.  The city being New York if there might be another, haha.  It really irritates my husband that I refer to it as "the city" even when I'm not even in New York and it isn't as obvious.  

Anyway, we went to Chinatown.  If you haven't been to Chinatown as a vegetarian, vegan, or just as a person who really likes animals, it is a little disturbing.  Dead poultry hanging in windows, barely live lobsters piled on top of one another, happy fishies swimming in storefronts, completely unaware that they are about to meet their demise...  

Despite this, there are some really delightful parts of Chinatown.  First, there is a lot of cheap knockoff stuff.  Not that I bought anything, but I always say I should.  But they also have lots of nice people selling some beautiful looking produce.  And almost every table that we passed was selling cherries, grapes, starfruit, and some weird bunches of brown fruit.  They looked something like this.  

Well the pictures give away the end of the story, I guess.  I couldn't resist buying some.  My brother and I started slicing them open a little bit ago, and found some really interesting fruit inside.  

They're also known as a dragon eye.  I tried to show it in the picture, but it was tough.  They have a really dark seed in the middle of them, and the flesh is kind of transparent, so it resembles an eye.  

If you are wondering how to peel them, my brother and I thought about making a video.  But then we found this cute video of a little girl doing it, and figured she was cuter than us.

If you don't want to watch, its not that hard.  At first I was slicing into the skin and then peeling it away, but you can sort of just give them a squeeze and the skin separates.  

The texture is really hard to explain.  If you've ever had a lychee fruit, they are similar, although I find them much easier to peel, and I definitely prefer the taste.  They're very juicy, not overly sweet, and almost have a kind of milkiness about them.  The seed inside can be boiled and eaten, so we're collecting them.  

Okay, are you exasperated that I haven't told you what they are yet?  Did you just skip to the bottom of the page because you are just too impatient?  I don't blame you.  

They're called a longan fruit.  They can be dried or eaten fresh, and they're most often used in Chinese cuisine, and even some medicinal practices.  I'm no expert though, I am citing this from the entries for Longan on Wikipedia, and you can read it too if you're interested.

For one fruit, raw, seed removed:
Nutrition Information:  2 Calories.  That's it really.  Everything else is so small it doesn't register.  
For 100g of fruit:
Nutrition Information:  60 Calories;  0.0g Total Fat;  0.0g Saturated Fat;  0.0mg Cholesterol;  15g Carbohydrates;  1.0g Fiber;  1.0g Protein

Long story short, they're good, and if you ever find them, you should try them!  Hopefully I will get a chance to make something with them, maybe dry some, and definitely boil the seeds.  I'll be sure to update on them!  

On a completely unrelated note, I was confused about what day it was yesterday, and my friend's party is tomorrow, hehe.  Oops.

Because some of you asked, my husband did not come home for Christmas.  When you are deployed, you typically only get to come home once, and he was here in August.  The good news though, is that he doesn't have too much longer in Iraq!  Thanks for asking too, I appreciate it :)       


  1. try longans in a can ....should be available in chinatown under canned fruits aisle. delicious as a cold drink.just add water and ice.

    of course nothing beats fresh longans:)

  2. How interesting, it looks a lot like a lychee!

  3. She is cute! Good spokesperson :)

  4. I had longan fruit somewhere, but I can't remember where I was...definitely not in Nashville. Glad your husband is coming home soon! Happy Monday Gina :)

  5. I had longans in Thailand and I think they're so much nicer than lychees. Better still (and much cooler looking) are rambutans.

  6. Looks like a more spherical lychee:)

  7. I love longan fruit. I grew up with it. YUM!!!