Ranging in size from an olive to a small plum and spherical to ovoid in shape, Longans have a thin rough-to-prickly brown easy to remove shell called a pericarp covering its grayish-white translucent pulp. In the center of the juicy flesh is a large smooth jet-black seed with a white ovoid characteristic mark. Having a flesh reminiscent of a peeled grape, the flavor is wonderfully sweet and often described as a mysterious tasting blend of musk, spruce and gardenia.
Longan is available from winter through spring.
New Longan varieties offer a better ratio of pulp to pit and many are "freestone".
Longan is an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C, and is very, very low in sodium.