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What Do Longans Taste Like

Updated on March 23, 2011

I tried longans for the first time the other day. They cost quite a lot, but as I'm a huge fruit lover I bought enough to have a sweet snack and took them home. I love exploring new tastes, and writing an article along the lines of “What Do Longans Taste Like” seemed a fun way of making my experience worth that extra bit more.

Longans' Appearance

Longans are a sweet fruit related to and somewhat resembling the more well-known lychee. They are a similar size to the lychee or perhaps a little smaller, are more spherical in form and have smooth skin rather than bumpy. They're cream-brown in colour, with a brittle skin covering a translucent round ball of flesh that looks like a teardrop. Inside the flesh, there is a round stone.

So What Do Longans Taste Like?

Longans taste “fresh” and very sweet, with a long gentle aftertaste that reminds of caramel or possibly bubblegum flavour. They're quite watery and have a very pleasant consistency to chew on. Compared to the lychee they also have more flesh per fruit, making eating them more convenient. And finally, though it's not exactly “what longans taste like” I have to say that their beautiful teardrop appearance makes eating them a wonderful experience, particularly if you're the sort of person who eats with their eyes. I can imagine a plate of peeled longans making a luxurious party piece.

The taste that longans have isn't that strong. It's like having a grape, or a kaki – sweetness without much taste. That said I think the subtle taste of longans is pleasant, almost a tranquil eating experience, and not lacking in any way.

After getting used to longans – it was an aquired taste for me, and it took me about 200 grams before I was used to its slightly strange bubblegum taste – I could say it's one of my favourite tasting fruits. A new all-star to add to my fruit round-up.

Longan Facts

Longans can be hard to find in the West – I found mine from a Chinese food shop. They're a tropical fruit, eaten in China and Indonesia among other places. I hope to taste lots of them when I go to Indonesia this summer (assuming I have the money).

Nutritionally longans are high in potassium, riboflavin and vitamin C. They contain 60 calories per 100g and have negligible amounts of fat – great for people on the 80/10/10 or fruitarian diets.

What Do Dried Longans Taste Like?

I'd say longans are a great healthy (if a little pricy) snack for anyone. You can also get dried longans in chinese food shops, possibly more often than the fresh ones; but watch out, the taste is very different. They have black flesh instead of white, and their taste is rich and reminds me of chocolate and toasted raisins. I don't think they taste as good, though I'm willing to imagine that they are an aquired taste like fresh longans – they seem popular enough among the Chinese.

Thanks for reading. To see more of my writing check out my blog: Andrew Gubb's Blog - Indigo Children and Adults, Lightworkers, and Saving The World


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      2 years ago

      Good info

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      3 years ago

      The best way I can think of to describe the flavor of longans is that they taste how peonies smell.

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      3 years ago

      Thanks for shnriag. What a pleasure to read!

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      3 years ago

      Superb inoramftion here, ol'e chap; keep burning the midnight oil.

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      Bobbi, TX 

      5 years ago

      Where could I purchase seeds to grow in U.S.A.? I have tried them, very sweet and mild flavor. Almost like baby food applesauce.


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