Vegetables and Gourds
| Long Gnun is a small fruit that Chinese
regard with great respect. It grows on trees, and quite
often in the wild. The fruit forms large clusters that
hang down, and they are harvested by cutting off the
small branches that support them. This is one of the
few seasonal fruits in Guangdong, and is harvested from
mid to late summer.
The fruit can grow up to an inch in diameter, is round
or slightly oval, and has a mustard coloured leathery
skin. The skin is quite tough, but once split peels
very easily. The white flesh surrounds a large black
seed or stone, whilst the flesh tastes remarkably similar
|Longgnun are usually eaten fresh by simply peeling
away the skin and eating the white flesh inside.
Remove the central stone in your mouth, Longgnun
are very wet and sticky when doing this with your
To shell, simply remove from the bough and take
in your fingers. Place your forefinger and thumb
at opposite sides of the fruit - and press fairly
hard. They will immediately split open (if ripe).
However, they do have good medicinal properties
and act as a tonic. Therefore they are sometimes
put into soups, as much for a change as any other
reason. Being a seasonal fruit also heightens
For instance, my wife recently made the soup as
featured on our Wax
Gourd page. As Mama had brought several pounds
of Longgnun with her a few days before, Siu Ying
decided to put about 20 of them in the soup. She
made 3 pints of it, featuring potatoes, carrots,
wax gourd, and some meat.
The Longgnun were delicious and I wholeheartedly
recommend you try this next time you are making
Apart from use in soups, or eating raw, I would also
use them as very suitable substitutes for Lychee. They
are ideal served with cream, or as something special
added to fruit salad.
Wong Pei is an extremely similar fruit which is marginally
smaller in general. It looks virtually identical although
any associated leaves are different. It has similar
characteristics and taste, however the outside skin
is soft and slightly furry to the touch, and breaks
easily with your fingers. Long gnun is leathery to the
touch and does not break too easily.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably
supported by our friends and various internet portals.