Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Longan Grew As High As A Dragon's Eye

Not A Lychee
My local farmers' market is a wealth of food discoveries. I don't mean the "JamaLady" and her "Jamalade" marketing nonsense*. It seems as if each week, particularly at the fruit stand, there've been some new discoveries. I've explored avocado varieties, sapote, cherimoya, persimmons, and now I've discovered the wonders of longan, or "Dragon Eye", fruit. It's a nutritious and tasty little fruit.

A member of the soapberry family, the longan has a dryer sweetness and less juice than its relative the lychee. Like the lychee, the longan has an inedible outer layer and a large seed. I use a cherry pitter to remove the seeds, or just eat around them, but the seeds won't fit through the hole so I've had to fully extract the seeds by hand.

Tonight I put one into a Kangaroo, like a lychee "martini" but without the lychee juice, and where a lychee may have been too sweet, the longan was just right with the vodka and dry vermouth. Eating the fruit at the end was a dry and boozy treat.


Dragonroo?
Longan, while a little juicy, don't ooze juice like lychee, which made them great on a salad yesterday. Combined with fresh greens and a dressing made with olive oil and some of my thinner home made hot sauce, the sweet/hot matchup was a winner. Sorry, no photo. What? I was hungry.

Pit Carefully or It Gets Ugly
Available through the winter, I'll be monkeying around with this fruit some more in the coming months and will report back here, with photos.

Box of Goodness
*Jamalade is a monsterous combination of jam and marmalade traits that was created by food science weirdos and marketing goons around 2008 in order to make marmalade relevant to the day's youth. It's what happens to every industry when their market share starts dying off and they've neglected to brainwash their grandchildren.

"Well, I reckon it's time to tart up the marmalade!" - The Stockholders

Maybe I'm just a cynical bastard, (I am), but marketing speak like "The challenge now is to entice a whole new generation into buying marmalade" is insidious and vile. Is even the noble marmalade not safe from the machinations of these bottom line-pushing marketing thugs? Haven't we had enough of their "let's put the worst peanut butter and the most gawdawful of jellies into the same jar" abominations? Are they so lazy that they can't stop mashing things up and just pay off some shoe-gazing wimp-rock band to look sad while not-in-the-least-bit enjoying marmalade in public? It would go great with their pissant ironic beards and piss-warm PBR.

That it's trickled down to a home cooking farmers' market vendor makes me cringe whenever her sing-song voice croon "want to try some jamalade?". No, you fiend. No I don't. Good day, madame, and keep your hands off of my lemon curd.