If I had to pick one fruit as my favorite…well, actually I wouldn't be able to choose just one fruit, as I love so many. But lychee definitely ranks in my top five favorite fruits of all time. Lychee season is almost over, at least here in the US. I picked up some beautiful red shelled ones a few weekends ago and took some time to photograph the pretty fruit. I love the red, almost pinkish color of the shell contrasted with the translucent white flesh of the fruit.
For those who have no eaten a lychee, it's an extremely sweet fruit. The outside layer is a thin, bumpy shell. You can completely peel off the shell very easily, and end up with a translucent white flesh. The shell is pretty thin, so you want to be careful not to pierce the flesh when you peel it off. The best way to eat it is to pop the flesh in your mouth and then spit out the big seed in the middle. The fruit is mainly liquid and not much flesh, so you don't want to try to cut it up or take out the seed before eating, as you'll end up with sticky sweet juice all over your hands. Instead, just pop it into your mouth, absorb the burst of sweet juices, and then spit out the seed.
I've noticed two kinds of lychee available in San Diego, though I'm not sure the names of the different varieties. Early in the summer, you'll find ones with a yellowish shell. The seeds inside these lychee are smaller. But the flesh is also more tart. The light red ones that are photographed here come later in the summer. They also have a bigger seed, but the flesh is much sweeter. The ones I've eaten in Taiwan, are about 1 1/2 times the size of the ones I've seen in the US, and the shell is a dark red, almost brown color.
Lychee are high in vitamin C, so other than tasting deliciously sweet like candy, they provide health benefits as well.