Borneo fruits-The Sarawak Longan

Posted on March 6, 2020 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal
The Sarawak Longan-This warty yellow longan is a subspecies of the dimocarpus longan and malesianus variant. Yellow longan are called ‘kakus’ whereas a green longan is called ‘isau’.  Another species is oblong in shape.  It is green skinned and is called ‘sau’.
This fruit is more familiarly known as ‘mata kuching’ in Malay. In translation, it means cat’s eye.  The Chinese community call this fruit ‘long yan’ meaning dragon’s eye. It is also known as ‘guring’ or marbles.  This fruit is cultivated on the central region of Sarawak in Sibu division, Kanowit, Song, Kapit and Belaga districts.  It is a native fruit of Sarawak and is found along the river banks of Rejang river. This fruit is found also in China.
Unlike the Thai longan which is smooth skinned, the Sarawak Longan is warty.  The skin is thick and the flesh is thick, transclucent, very sweet and fragrant.  The seed is hard and enamel like.
The Sarawak Longan is rich in calcium and vitamin c.  It has very high economic potential with a kilo selling for RM8.00, a price higher than imported fruits.
This favorite fruit is available in January each year till early February in time for the Chinese New Year celebration.  This fruit is traditionally used to cast into the river by the romantic young and not so young alike during Chap Goh Meh, the fifteen night of Chinese New Year.  It is the Chinese valentine’s day and hopeless romantics cast these longans to make a wish for a beautiful bride with big eyes.  Women, on the other hand, cast mandarin oranges wishing for a husband.
This fruit is eaten by first washing it with water and biting it to break the skin.  The flesh is very juicy.  This fruit is a member of the sapindaceae family of which the rambutan and pulasan are related. –

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