Lychees are native to the southeastern region of China, and are cultivated around the world today, including in the United States.
Learn more about this wonderful little fruit ...
Lychee (Litchi chinensis), sometimes called litchi, are small tropical fruits with jelly-like flesh and a waxy, pink skin. The translucent white flesh of lychee has the texture of a juicy, dense grape. Their flavor is light and crisp like watermelon, yet sweet and juicy like a strawberry. There’s a hint of spring flowers in lychee’s sweet flavor that makes it a favorite around the world.
Lychee skin has a scaly texture and a dark, pinkish red color. The peel is thin and waxy, and removes easily from the grapelike orb of fruit inside. Lychee flesh is a translucent, creamy white that’s shiny, juicy and smooth.
Lychees are harvested when ripe. So if you’re holding one, it’s ready to eat!
Lychee fruits can be prepared in many ways, as an ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes. Raw lychee is delicious as a sweet snack, tossed into salads or as a special yogurt topping. These delicate fruits are perfect for light and refreshing beverages and cocktails as well. Lychees are a versatile fruit for just about any recipe!
At the center of every lychee fruit is a hard, brown pit that is inedible. These large seeds are known to be toxic inside. When chowing down on lychee, be sure to avoid those pits. Your tummy (and your dentist) will thank you.
Lychee fruits are native to an area of the world spanning from southeastern China, through Vietnam to Malaysia. Today, lychee fruits are grown and cultivated throughout the world, including India and southeast Asia, Israel, Australia, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and Brazil.
No question, lychee is sweet and delicious. But is lychee good for you? These little fruits have relatively high amounts of vitamin C and potassium for a fruit composed mostly of water. Here are some of the nutrition facts of lychee fruits. Complete information about raw lychees can be found on the USDA website.
One lychee contains:
Lychee season starts strong in late May and June, and runs through September.
Lychee flesh is a versatile ingredient in countless recipes. Fresh lychee fruit is often eaten raw as a fruity snack, directly from the leathery peel. Whether raw or cooked, lychees are most popular in desserts, cocktails, candies and other sweet recipes. However, lychee compliments savory dishes too, and can be found in rice, ceviche and meat preparations.
Lychee’s flavor is light and crisp like a green grape, yet sweet and juicy like a strawberry. There is also a floral dimension to lychee’s flavor that makes it so distinct. Lychees are juicy and flavorful with a crisp, watery flesh.
Lychee is beloved in its raw form, and is enjoyed in countless ways. Use jams in countless sweets and confections like jams, jellies, candies, pastries creams and desserts. Add a tropical punch of flavor to fruit and vegetable salads with chopped lychee fruit. Use lychee in frozen desserts from popsicles to ice cream and granitas. Delicate lychee flesh is used as an ingredient in sweet and savory chutneys, sauces, and seasonal food recipes.
Kids and adults love lychee fruits and their sweet, refreshing flavor.
Enjoy lychee fruit in all kinds of drinks from water to tea, juice, cocktails, smoothies, shakes and cocktails. Lychee can also be steeped in milk to make creamy infusions or made into a basic syrup for everyday drinks. Lychee fruit and jelly are a delicious addition to milk tea, iced tea and enhanced waters.
When your FruitStand shipment of lychee fruits arrive, they will already be ripe. Lychee can be stored on the countertop for only a day or so, so we recommend refrigerating them to retain freshness for longer. Plus, they’re extra tasty when they’re cold!
Lychee will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about a week, when wrapped in a breathable storage method like a mesh or paper bag.
When freezing lychee, place whole fruits on a flat surface so they may freeze individually. Then, store them together in a freezer safe bag for up to three months. Don’t worry too much if their color isn’t as vibrant after freezing. The fruit inside will be protected and still taste delicious!
Check with your vet before giving your precious pooch this tropical fruit. The rind and pit of the lychee fruit is definitely off limits for dogs since they are inedible and can cause tummy discomfort or painful blockages. Lychee flesh, however, may be safe in small amounts. The high sugar content of lychee flesh should be monitored if offering it as a special treat to dogs.
Even though lychee fruit is very light in color, its sweet, sticky juice could leave a mark on certain fabrics. If lychee drops onto your clothing, table cloth or napkins, first treat the spot with a stain remover that’s safe for that particular fabric. Follow the directions on the product to prevent the spot from setting, and pop the item into the washer as soon as you can.
Lychee are similar in size, shape, and to some extent, flavor to rambutan and longans. Their rinds are pliable and leathery, with inner fruit that separates easily. Rambutan, longan and lychee fruits’ flesh are all a translucent yet creamy white color with a juicy, grape-like texture. In the center of their fruits is a hard, inedible brown pit.
Reddish pink and bumpy, the outer rind of the lychee doesn’t have the waxy eyelashes all over the rind like the rambutan does. Longan fruits have the smoothest outer texture of the three fruits, and is a golden yellow color.
In taste, lychee is less sweet and creamy than rambutan, and not nearly as sour as longan. Lychee is considered to have the crispest flavor and texture of the three fruits.
Do you smell that? If lychee spoils, it could cause a curious whiff or two. To get smells from spoiled lychee from your home, discard any turned fruit and clean surfaces with hot, soapy water. A good old-fashioned box of baking soda in the fridge or anywhere you store produce can help keep general funkiness at bay.