Exotic Antioxidants: Longan, Lychee & Rambutan

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Longan, lychee, rambutan.

One of my favorite things about traveling – or even heading to a local farmers’ market – is discovering new and exotic fruit.

Although native to Asia, the longan, lychee and rambutan have been known to grow in the warmer, coastal regions of the United States. I had the luck of living in Hawaii, where these fruit are locally grown and we’d be able to get them fresh off the tree while they were in season.

Whether you find them locally or imported, it’s good to be able to tell them apart.

A quick primer: longan has smooth, light brown skin, lychee has a reddish-pink skin with little knobs on it, and rambutan is truly exotic with its red, tentacled rind. They all have similar-tasting fruit inside, which is white, wet and tangy. And they’re all excellent sources of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Images (left to right): Ruud!, tsc_traveler, benklocek