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Longan

Dimocarpus longan, commonly known as the longan (UK: /ˈlɒŋɡən/; US: /ˈlɑːŋɡən/), is a tropical tree that produces edible fruit. It is one of the better-known tropical members of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae), to which the lychee also belongs. It is native to Southern Asia.[2]

 

 

The longan (simplified Chinese: 龙眼; traditional Chinese: 龍眼; pinyin: lóngyǎn; literally: "Dragon Eye"), is so named because it resembles an eyeball when its fruit is shelled (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil/iris). The seed is small, round and hard, and of an enamel-like, lacquered black. The fully ripened, freshly harvested shell is bark-like, thin, and firm, making the fruit easy to shell by squeezing the fruit out as if one is "cracking" a sunflower seed. When the shell has more moisture content and is more tender, the fruit becomes less convenient to shell. The tenderness of the shell varies due to either premature harvest, variety, weather conditions, or transport/storage conditions. In China, it is also called guì yuán (桂圆), especially when dried.


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