Friday, 29 January 2010

Why do they call it Brazilian Longan?

Update [30/10/2014]::: As I later found out, these fruits are not Brazilian Longan and they are also not Mamoncillo (Spanish Lime). These are actually known as Pometia Pinnata and in Spanish, it is calleLong├ín de Fiji, which is probably why they are called Fijian Longan or Fiji Longan. Other names include Island Lychee, Tava (Samoa) and Kasai (Malaysia).

Tree description from
Edible Medicinal And Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 6, Fruits
Pometia pinnata link from


One day, dad, very excitedly, showed me a green, round fruit, the size of a golf ball. The green fruit has a very thick skin. So is the flesh. It is succulent, fleshy and sweet, tasting just like a longan. The seed is black and round, like that of a longan fruit too. And, the fruit is called Brazilian Longan. But, nowhere could I find on the web the proper name for this "Brazilian Longan". How the name came about is strange as it is not common for longans to be found in South America.

The Brazilian Longans probably came to Brunei from her neighbour, Malaysia as evident in some of these Malaysian blogs:

Strangely, the other day, I heard mum saying that it's not longans but called Brazilian Lychees. So, now I'm so confused as to whether they are longans or lychees. The lychees found in Brazil as largely documented on the web are mostly the common red fruit types.

Mamoncillo fruits on the tree in our garden

Finally, I came upon the fruit Mamoncillo, a South American fruit that goes by the common name, Spanish Lime. The description and picture on Wikipedia seem to fit the bill.

Picture from Wikipedia has a nice closeup picture of the fruit


Anonymous said...

here in jamaica i know it as fiji longan which is much different from the mamoncillo? Which we call guinep

rabbit said...

Thanks to your comment about it being called Fiji longan that I was able to find the name Pometia Pinnata. :)