Sitting on my desk right now is a bowl of longans that

Sitting on my desk right now is a bowl of longans that I picked up at Viet Wah last night ($2.99 a pound). The longan season normally begins in August, but a few cultivars can be harvested even later than that. Their mellow, almost boozy flavor is quintessentially autumnal.Just like with lychees, when you unwrap the papery, almost scaly skin you find a smooth seed enrobed in a transparent, gelatinous fruit (there’s one peeled longan in the bowl — and apparently, if you slice into the fruit, it looks like a dragon’s eye). But where lychees have a pronounced rosewater fragrance, longans taste like they’ve been marinated in Frangelico, pear juice, and honey. I can imagine eating them with pumpkin spice cake, or hot buttered rum, or mulled cider, or toasted almonds and hazelnuts. Pick up a bag before they’re done for the season.


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