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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stoned Fruits

 As we come to the end of summer here in Texas, we also come to the last points of plentiful fruit season. When people speak of stone fruits, they generally speak of peaches, plums, nectarines and cherries (and the various hybrids thereof). But the basic architecture of such stone fruit - a skin around an edible flesh surrounding a stone - are found in other fruits not of the Prunus genera. Although these other stone fruits were previously known as exotic Asian crops, they are now quite readily found in Houston area markets. Pictured above is the rambutan. Despite the furry appearance, the outer skin peels off easily to reveal a delicious white golf-ball sized meat.

  You may encounter lychee quite frequently in the canned form in Chinese restaurants. Or in the trendier bars as part of a martini. But the humble longan seldom gets such star treatment.
So how does one eat one of these fruit types? Let's dissect one. The longan is about the size of a large marble, and if you press on it, the skin splits, and can be easily peeled away.
Longan, half peeled. 

Longan, naked.

One then chews around the sweet translucent flesh, and spits out the pit. Repeat with the next fruit. Enjoy.

Longan seed. 

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget to drop the peels on the sidewalk like all the other people in the market. I'll never forget the streets of KL during rambutan season.

    In related news, how about mangosteens? We never see them in the West, and I was never in Asia when they were ripe. Proverbially they don't travel well, but that may not be true any more.