The Longan, also known as the dragon’s eye, originated from Southeast Asia and is now cultivated all over the world where the climate allows. The fruit is cherry tomato size and has a delicious flavor profile somewhere between Lychee and rambutan. But, like many tropical fruits, does it last long?
Did you know that the antioxidants of the Longan protect skin from UV light exposure? This tiny fruit is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to health benefits, and it’s also delicious. In Chinese medicine, the Longan induces restful sleep and calmness in those suffering from anxiety.
Storing and preserving tropical fruits can keep us from buying these kinds of fruits to reduce waste in our homes. However, this article will delve into how you can preserve Longan and enjoy its flavor and benefits for as long as possible. We answer many frequently asked questions to provide you with factual information.
Let’s get into it.
Does Longan expire?
Longan does expire, but this tropical fruit may be more resilient than you first might have thought.
This tiny fruit is a powerhouse of essential nutrients and has a better shelf life than many fruits that you may consider heady such as the mainstream banana and even oranges and apples.
When picked or bought fresh, the Longan can sit in a fruit bowl for approximately seven days which is impressive for this type of fruit. Once placed in the fridge, the shelf life of Longan doubles to 14 days and possibly longer, which exceeds the shelf life of bananas we have no qualms about buying.
Straight from the tree, the Longan skin is delicate but once stored in the fridge, it seems to toughen up slightly, but this is not a bad thing. It protects the inner flesh perfectly, so the fruit does not lose any of its flavor and freshness.
If you are not impressed so far by the hardiness of the Longan, even skinless Longan has a decent shelf and lives in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Still not impressed? Longan can be used in many recipes to add a subtle tropical fruit flavor from salads to boiled Longan that can be used in savory rice dishes and sweet desserts, not to mention cakes.
Cooked Longan stored in an airtight container can last for at least two weeks stirred in the fridge.
Longan is versatile and has an incredible shelf life comparable to and exceeding fruits from the tropics and colder climates.
Does Longan need to be refrigerated?
Not always. Longan will sit independently in a fruit bowl and will be perfect for seven days if it’s not consumed.
Longan is climacteric, meaning it does not ripen further when picked from the tree, which gives it longevity. Fresh Longan can happily sit at room temperature for a week and still be in good shape. However, if you place Longan in the fridge, the shelf life of the fruit doubles to 14 days.
To store Longan in the fridge, you simply place the fruit in a polythene bag and leave the top open, so any condensation is removed and placed in the fridge.
Skinless and deseeded Longan has an equally healthy life in the fridge and lasts around the same time as the Longan with skins.
However, if you use Longan and sweet rice to wean your infant from milk, the recommended time in the fridge in a sealed container is three days.
Cooked Longan can last for two weeks, stirred in an airtight container, and added to recipes. For meals containing Longan, the Longan typically outlasts the first ingredient in the recipe to expire.
Does Longan have to be covered?
Longan can sit out in a fruit bowl uncovered for a week. But is there a need to store Longan covered in the fridge? Longan in the fridge should be contained in a plastic bag with the top open to vent condensation. No, the bag is to keep the fruit together.
Skinless and seeded Longan should be covered in an airtight container. Cooked Longan should also be sealed. Sealing the skinless and cooked Longan will prevent bacteria build up on the fruit and prevent the food from being tainted with aromas from the fridge, like garlic or onion.
Can you put warm Longan in the fridge?
Longan is used in many dishes for cooking, from cakes to ice creams, and even savory dishes like savory rice to add that unexpected taste. Maybe you have warm Longan in the leftovers of your savory rice dinner or sweet dessert. So can it be placed in the fridge while warm?
The answer is no, and it is not just about Longan. It’s about the meal containing Longan, from soups to family meals and baby food. Placing warm food in the fridge is a bad idea.
If you read online that you can’t put a warm Longan cake in the fridge because of condensation coalescing into water droplets that will drip and make your Longan cake soggy and less appealing, you are being misled.
Your fridge temperature will be 40℉ -18℃ or a little lower. Placing a warm dessert in the fridge will elevate its temperature while it radiates heat.
Your fridge may not be as efficient as you might have thought at removing heat. Most fridges take hours to come to 40℉ after being switched on after cleaning.
So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that food sitting at a temperature of 40-140℉ is in the food danger zone. It’s not just your warm dessert. It is the contents of the entire fridge.
Above 40℉-18℃ bacterial growth on perishable foods will accelerate exponentially. It should be discarded if the food remains at an elevated temperature above 40℉-18℃ for just two hours.
Seems harsh? According to the USDA, after two hours in the food danger zone, perishable foods contain enough bacteria to cause food poisoning.
How long can Longan sit out?
Two hours. Remember the food danger zone? According to the USDA, perishable goods sitting out for two hours should be discarded, and the bacteria growth on the food has multiplied rapidly, making the food unfit for consumption.
Whole Longans can sit out for around seven days, depending on how ripe they are when bought from the store. They are not in any danger from bacteria growth sitting at room temperature.
However, the skinless Longans and Longan that have been cooked are different.
Longan can sit out independently and not be bothered by bacteria until it expires. But if you have a meal that includes Longan, then it’s a different subject, and Longan sitting out will have a life of two hours as part of a recipe.
Eating food sitting out for two hours or more could cause food poisoning.
This will only apply if Longan is part of the recipe or is skinless.
How long does Longan last in the fridge?
10 to 14 days. The freshness of the Longan will impact the shelf life of the fruit in the fridge. Skinless Longans should be sealed in an airtight container in the fridge.
When using Longan as part of a baby food recipe, it should be discarded after three days, and this has more to do with the shelf life of rice than the Longan fruit.
Cooked Longan will last for two weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
Does frozen Longan go bad?
Fruits are notoriously temperamental when it comes to freezing. The ice crystal formations in the delicate flesh can turn tropical fruits into indelible watery mush within hours of freezing.
Forget about frozen foods below 0℉ and below that can last indefinitely. It’s nonsense in most cases, and for delicate fruits, it’s a ridiculous notion.
However, it has been established that the Longan is no ordinary tropical fruit and can stand up to the test of time before it becomes inedible. Longan, frozen correctly, can last six months and not degrade one little bit.
This is how to freeze Longan.
Freezing the whole Longan with skins
- Remove the growing stems from the fruit and wash the fruit in a colander to remove any debris.
- Leave the Longan fruit to drip dry for 30 minutes and then place it on a towel and pat dry as best as possible.
- Use gallon freezer bags that are sealable for best results. Fill the bag and leave a gap of two inches.
- Gently remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag and seal it tightly. This process is critical to trying to prevent freezer burn.
- Mark the bag with the freezing and expiry dates, which will be six months from freezing.
- Place the bag in the freezer.
Freezing skinless Longan
- Gently remove the skins of the Longan, and try not to bruise or crush the fruit at this stage. Remove the seed if preferred.
- Place the Longan flesh on a tray so they are not touching, and freeze for thirty minutes. This will make handling the fruit much more manageable, and they will not freeze in one clump.
- When the fruit is semi-frozen, remove it from the freezer.
- Place the Longan flesh into airtight freezer bags such as a Ziploc. Fill as before, leaving a gap at the top of the bags.
- Remove as much air from the bag and seal it.
- Mark the bag as before and place it in the freezer.
How to defrost Longan?
In the fridge overnight works well, but if you want to expedite the process, place the fruit in water and let them thaw faster.
Longan is an incredibly versatile little fruit that is becoming available in grocery stores and markets across the country. It is a hardy little fellow, so don’t be afraid of this tropical fruit. It can last a long time.
Don’t forget Longan is packed with health benefits that are hard to ignore.