Longan is planted in many provinces across the country but Hung Yen is renowned as "the capital" of the tropical fruit with more than 3,000 hectares of longan being harvested in the province.

Visitors can see longan everywhere, in markets and on the streets.  So much longan that people may feel they are basking in a paradise of the fruit.

That is also the reason why longan is chosen for processing a unique speciality – dried longan flesh, "long nhan say" in Vietnamese.

We come to Vị village, famous for its dried longan during the month of August, where ripened longan trees are laden with fruits as if they are just waiting to be picked and the atmosphere of the trade village seems to be at its bustling peak.

There are many stages of processing dried longan. In order to have the most delicious longan, one must choose fresh, sweet and thick pulp longan. After being selected, longan pulp is separated from the seed by a cyclone pen (the mental object with spikes like a fountain pen). Longan-swirling is a careful and skillful step where the pulp must stay intact.

After being separated from seed and skin, the pulp is carefully arranged on the mesh-wattle and then put into the dryer. After 24 hours of drying, the pulp is taken out and turned until it is completely dry, with a striking brown yellow color, and with a strong core flavor.

Nguyen Thi Ha Linh in Phuong Chieu commune, Hung Yen City said: "My family has run the trade for years, since my parents’ generation. It’s been more than 20 years already." "We make dried longan flesh mainly for wholesale and for export. Sometimes for retail.", she added.

Although a trade that has been going on for over 30 years, the production of dried longan flesh is only seasonal, but it has helped create jobs and bring economic benefits for the local community.

"Hung Yen has this traditional trade," said  Tran Thi Ung in Phuong Chieu commune, Hung Yen City. "It helps rake in more income during free days from working on fields. Each day I earn on average 100,000 dong."

Not just a product, dried longan flesh has also been found to have medicinal properties. In response to growing demand, the production and export of dried longan have been on the rise. Local traders are seeing the fruits of their labor, with some raking in some 200-300 million dong annually. 

It would not be a complete visit to Hung Yen without stopping by the longan gardens, tasting the fruit on the trees and giving a go at swirling longan. Hung Yen hopes that both fresh longan and the sweet flavor of dried longan not only remain a famous local delicacy, but also become the next new sensation across the globe.-VNA