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All About Lychees

Yesterday I suggested you serve a cool lychee cocktail for a Chinese New Year dinner party. If you found yourself scratching your head and wondering what on earth is a lychee, I'm here to help:

  • Lychees — or litchis — are one of China's most cherished fruits. They are small, walnut-sized fruits with a perfumed, creamy, jelly-like flesh.
  • The lychee is native to Southeast Asia and is cultivated in subtropical regions like California, Hawaii, and Florida.
  • Peak season for fresh lychees is June and July while canned and dried ones are available year round.
  • To eat, look for bright red-skinned fruits. Peel with your fingers and pop in your mouth as you would a nut or candy. Just don't swallow the seed!

Did I forget to mention something about lychees? Fill us in below!


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Advah Advah 9 years
They're possibly my favourite fruit! There's also a lychee alcohol (called Soho) that's just as delicious, esp when mixed with various fruit juices.
lattegoodness lattegoodness 9 years
They're big in India too... love lychees! I've had a lychee mojito and it was heaven! YUM!
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
they look like eyeballs so I have never eaten one
lms lms 9 years
My mom has a lychee tree and I never really liked them. However, I went to Nobu recently in the Bahamas and they had a lychee mojito on the menu. Something possessed me to try it and it was delicious.
Lexeone Lexeone 9 years
LOVE LOVE LOVE Lychees! So sweet and yummy and fragrant. Lychee martini is the BEST. I've had lychee ice cream too. Yummy!!
murdock99tx murdock99tx 9 years
Lychees are GROSS!
luz-y-sombra luz-y-sombra 9 years
I recently went to visit a fruit winery in south Miami (Homestead/ Redlands area, really) which makes lychee wine! I LOVE lychees and drinking this wine was pure lychee heaven. I can't stand regular red wine, but this wine is the only type I drink. :)
spaghetina spaghetina 9 years
If you're on the hunt for canned lychees, see if your area has any Asian markets. They'll usually have cans of them in heavy syrup, along with the longans (a.k.a. dragon eyes) that bigestivediscuit mentioned. Both are great. If you're in an area that's not particularly ethnically diverse and there aren't any Asian markets around, swing by a specialty food store and ask around. If they don't have them, they may be able to order them for you.

The texture may not be for everyone, but the flavor is pretty hard to dislike. It's an almost perfumey fruit, sweetly flavored, and delicate. YUM!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I love lychees. Another fruit similar to lychee is "longan" but I don't know what the "English" name for it is. Both are favorites of mine!
sugar_me_sweet sugar_me_sweet 9 years
My family in China owns a whole field of lychee trees and it's world famous too. I am definitely a fan of this most delicious fruit.
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
Hmm, I've never had them.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I'd never heard of them till that martini recipe. I live in KY, so I'm gonna look around for some canned ones at least. Y'all goin' on and on about 'em...I guess I gotta try too.
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
How does a gal living in Minnesota go about finding and trying these? Our butts are frozen solid six months of the year, so I am guessing that I won't find them fresh any time soon!
Ivelisse Ivelisse 9 years
Lychees are delicius!! yuuumi! i have a lychee tree in my backyard.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i love these things!!! i am having some tonight with my chinese new year celebration (a day late, i know). i put them in the blender with some ice and mmmmm....what a nice treat.
metrolover02 metrolover02 9 years
i love these spiky things
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Never had 'em...
marcella marcella 9 years
I love them and have to admit that gummy lychee candy is a guilty pleasure of mine!
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
dried, canned, jellied, frozen, and in drinks anyway they are WONDERFUL! LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM! mmmm chaya lychee martini maybe tonight yummy!!!
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
you forgot to mention that they are the most delicious fruit on earth. I went to china last summer...they were so amazing.
bluecanary bluecanary 9 years
I loved dried lychees when I was a kid (and plum seed too!). Was disappointed when I tried them fresh, but maybe I just got a bad batch?
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I've heard of them, but have not tasted them. Are the canned or dried lychees worth a try?
bluesmile bluesmile 9 years
love them, they are the best, and they are really good for your skin.
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 9 years
i LOVE lychees, i eat them all the time here in africa. they are available mostly at summer time, i pop around 20 something in minutes. they are so sweet and juicy! yummmmm
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