Every now and then, names appear in our fruit market that we are not used to hearing and that we have not studied at school as small as typical fruits of a few seasons. The Longan is one of them. These are foods originating from other very distant countries and which today, in a hyper-connected world where goods and information travel a lot, arrive on our tables. It has characteristics and properties that it is useful to know, with an open mind to enrich our nutrition with new and useful products for our health as well as good. Let's find out if the Longan is a fruit that we may like.
Comes fromIndochina this new fruit is good for the intestine, the heart and also for the mind because it strengthens our ability to remember. He is very rich either of vitamins than of fibers, as well as trace elements.
If any of us have already tasted exotic fruits like lychee and rambutan, you can better imagine what kind of flavor this new entry has the technical name of Dimocarpus longan. They are all part of the same family as Sapindaceae. By placing them close, you notice that they have differences and there is therefore no risk of confusing them. Our Longan, unlike the other two best known fruits mentioned, has one zest, brown and smooth. Not only that: the dimensions also vary, it is much smaller. As for the flavor, there are similarities but it is less floral and delicate and comes much closer to the taste of some types of mushrooms.
Longan: where to buy
This fruit is widespread in its countries of origin, in the areas of Indochina, but we find it quite easily too in the United States, Australia and the Caribbean. In Europe, however, it is very difficult to use it in the kitchen and it is rare to see it for sale. The places to find it most likely are ethnic shops and exotic fruit markets.
This fruit is very beneficial to the heart, intestines and liver, the benefits also affect memory, blood and spleen. It is not very caloric compared to other exotic fruits but it is certainly not at the level of some of our fruit: every 100 grams contains and also:
- Fat 0.1 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 0 mg
- Potassium 266 mg
- Carbohydrates 15 g
- Fiber 1.1 g
- Protein 1.3 g
Now let's take a closer look at its properties. It is very rich in C vitamin, therefore also excellent for the winter, and contains high amounts of riboflavin. The trace elements there are high doses, especially interesting potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. It does not have very few calories but those on a diet can rest assured since it contains very little fat and many dietary fiber useful for facilitate the work of the intestine.
They are attributed to the Longan relaxing properties and calming, it is therefore recommended for those suffering from insomnia and panic attacks, palpitations, restless sleep and nervous hunger. IS antioxidant, therefore counteracts premature aging, also fights anemia by promotingabsorption of iron into the blood. It is attributed antifungal, pain relieving, toning, anti-inflammatory properties.
In Chinese folk medicine it is also used to tackle problems ofcardio-circulatory system, especially if they concern the functioning of the spleen. There are also studies published in the magazines Molecules and Innovative Food Science end Emerging Technology that report the presence in the longan of proteins capable of raising the level of the immune system.
When we eat this fruit it is very important not to ingest the seeds because they are very rich in saponin. This substance is potentially dangerous to health. Its molecules are capable of destroying red blood cells within the blood if they reach the bloodstream. On the other hand, we can keep these seeds for washing clothes as they do in the countries where this fruit is grown. A curious and curious feature is also the translation of the name, which literally means "Dragon's eye". There are many varieties in Indochina, a very rare one called “green”, with a studded and greenish skin, has a particularly appreciated taste.
How to eat longan
To really enjoy one of these fruits it is important to choose the right ripe one. We must look at the peel and check that it is not too soft and that it does not show cracks or cracks purple or brown spots. When we open it we can consider it good if the pulp appears juicy and not dry, and as transparent as possible.
We remove the peel and take the pulp. We can eat it directly or let it dry. At that point it becomes very similar to a date in terms of flavor, while at the sight it can be mistaken for sultanas because it appears brown. THE dried longan they can be added to bread as real candied fruit or they can be infused for tea. In some countries they are produced ice creams, sorbets, juices, liqueurs and cook sweet and sour soups and sauces typical of traditional Chinese and Thai cuisines.