At Soulard Market yesterday, I picked up a stem of longan fruit from one of the market vendors — one who regularly has jaca and papaya and other fresh tropical fruits for sale.

This morning, after enjoying my breakfast sandwich & coffee & New York Times arts section, I ate about half of the fruits on the stem.

To eat a longan or a lychee (which I love!) or a rambutan, one must first get a thumb under the skin, which comes off easily if the fruit is ripe.  Then one pops the translucent flesh of the fruit into the mouth.

The key in the next few seconds: bite the flesh off of the seed that is in the center of the fruit, but without biting the seed itself.

The seed tastes, in a word, nasty.

I learned about lychee on my first trip to China in 2005, and I couldn’t get enough of them.  On subsequent trips, and if I’m near an Asian market in a Chinatown in Seattle or San Francisco or NYC or Montreal or London or elsewhere, I seek out lychee.

The market stall was down to longan only yesterday, which are my least favorite of the three I mentioned, but I still found great pleasure in these tasty Asian treats today.

Enjoy this video, complete with bad fingernails and one of the hosts not certain she likes the taste…..

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