Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lychee


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. 

 

8 Responses to “Lychee”

  1. 1

    Michelle — August 9, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

    My friend from Jamaica talks about this fruit, but I’ve never had it before. Your post is really informative. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2

    Kirbie — August 10, 2009 @ 10:34 am

    You should try them out sometime!

  3. 3

    Carol — August 10, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

    Lychee is also on my top list! I much prefer the red shelled ones over the other variety. I’ve been buying a lot more this season that past years. Which is a good reminder I better pick some more up before they are all gone. I keep meaning to make some lychees sherbert but I can’t stop eating them. :-P

  4. 4

    Kirbie — August 12, 2009 @ 10:39 am

    I’ve been buying a lot this season too. Not sure why. Every time I go to Ranch 99, I feel compelled to buy a bag, even though I still have some sitting at home. I saw this recipe for lychee granita that I was going to try, but I couldn’t bear to part with any of my fresh lychee. hehee

  5. 5

    Dwight — August 26, 2009 @ 8:47 am

    Hi Kirbie,
    Tried lychess the first time in South Africa about 4 years ago and fell in love with them. I fly to company headquarters in Carlsbad about once a month and try my best to get lychees at Ranch 99 when I’m there in June/July, but they are always out. Know of any other places I can get them? I’ll be back in town next week (Aug 31).
    Thanks for any guidance…Dwight

  6. 6

    Kirbie — August 26, 2009 @ 9:57 am

    I was able to find lychee during most of June/July at Ranch 99. They were usually located at the far right section against the wall. But I think they no longer have any more for this season. You can try Nijiya market on Convoy. Or Seafood City, located in Mira Mesa. Or you can try Thuan Phat/SF Supermarket on Linda Vista. Or maybe Zion Market. Hope you are able to find some!

  7. 7

    Annapet — September 30, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    My oh my! I love lychee! I’ve been experimenting with it though lazy posting {always gardening, LOL!}
    Have a great weekend!

  8. 8

    Kirbie — October 4, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    Lychee is definitely one of my favorites. Hard for me to bake or cook with because I can’t part with any of them.

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