Tropical Fruit Growers South Florida; we’re an association of farmers that specialize in growing tropical fruits. If you want to buy some of our delicious tropical fruits you can go to our website TropicalFruitGrowers.com.
Today we are going to talk about Longans, they’re grown here in The Redlands, an agricultural area southwest of Miami, Florida.
Longans are originally from Asia; they were introduced to de United States back in 1903, but became really popular commercially back in the 1990s, why did it take so long? They’re delicious.
Longans grow in clusters at the end of branches, like this. They have a brownish to tannish color when they’re ripe and ready. You can tell when they’re ready when you can squeeze them, like this, this is very squishy and flexible and they have a smooth skin, unlike the Lychee. To open them up to eat you just squish it open or you can just bite it with your teeth, just pierce it and crack it open. It has a whitish translucent shell that kind of has like a coconut flavor. It has all the sweetness of the Lychee and it has a brownish to blackish shiny seed or pit. It’s very sweet and the seed you just throw it away.
Longans are harvested through July and September but mainly in August. Florida Longans are harvested by hand, packed, cooled and sent to your market or it could be sent straight to your front door if you go to TropicalFruitGrowers.com.
Well we’re back now, we’re in the kitchen and I’ve got a 10 pound box of Longans for you to check out. This is how it looks like, we’ve got half-sized Longans, we’ve got quarter-sized Longans and they’re ready to eat; they’re nice and soft.
If you want to extend the life of your Longans all you’ve got to do is get a bunch, whatever’s left over, put them in a Ziploc bag making sure you get all the air out as best as you can, zip it up and then you just put it in the refrigerator. If you see the skin starts turning a little bit brownish it’s okay, it doesn’t mean it tastes bad, it’s a normal process. If you want them to last even longer you can just put them in the freezer and it’ll last you about a good year or so.
So you’ve got your fresh Florida Longans, what are you going to do with them? You can eat it all or you can make some really good recipes, like stir-fry with them or make fruit salads, you can make salsa or you can use them like pineapples when you bake your ham. If you want to see our recipes you can go to our website www.TropicalFruitGrowers.com