Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lychees

I love this fruit with its flavor of damask roses or rose water. Native to tropical China, I once read that a Chinese empress sent her servants 1,500 miles to bring her some. 

After picking, the hard skin turns from rosy red to brown and peels like an eggshell. The white, translucent flesh (technically, the aril) surrounds an inedible, dark brown to black seed.

I'm assured that some varieties are better than others, but I don't know which they are. And I don't know which one I have; it'll be some years before it's big enough to fruit.

The trees in the photos are in the neighborhood and the fruit in the last pic was given to us by a friend.
















6 comments:

Floridagirl said...

Gorgeous photos! Lychee is a stunning tree. A stark reminder to me that I lost my three-year-old tree to freeze last year. :`( There are scattered old specimens in my area, so I thought they were a safe bet. Hope yours is the tasty variety.

Penny McCrea said...

Hey, FG. I'm sorry you lost your tree. I guess if it had been older, it might have survived. I think the freeze has pushed the trees here into panic mode: "OMG, I nearly died this winter. Better push out masses of babies!" I don't remember seeing so many laden trees.

Susan said...

I love the way the fruit looks hanging on the tree...very exotic looking. I had the pleasure of tasting this fruit a couple of years ago and it is delicious. I envy you that you're able to have one in your garden.

Penny McCrea said...

Susan, should you find yourself heading to Dade or Broward, you'll find homeowners selling them at the side of the street. Given this year's abundance, fresh ones may be turning up in specialty grocers such as Wholefoods.

MrBrownThumb said...

I had these a year ago at a Chinese restaurant. I don't remember what I thought about them, but my impression of them must not have been very good since I never bothered to Google them. Thanks for posting these and reminding me of them, and most importantly identifying this weird fruit.

Penny McCrea said...

Hey, Mr. BT. The first time I had these was in a Chinese restaurant, too. I was a young teen out w/my parents and my dad told me that they were nothing like the fresh lychees he'd eaten in SE Asia. (They were out of a syrup-filled can.) So, come to Fla in June/July and try some really fresh ones!