I had never tried this unique, exotic fruit until a friend of mine, Louise, brought us some home to tempt our tastebuds. I was a bit curious about this fruit since I had never seen or even heard of it. So what the heck is a “lychee”? This sweet fruit or Lychees (Litchi chinensis) originated and have been popular in China for over two thousand years, used in stir frys, salads, and drinks, or just eaten plain. So where have I been? Apparently not living in China – but then that’s another story.
The skin of the lychee fruit is bumpy in texture and has a reddish pink color. Once the outer skin is removed, you see the translucent flesh of the fruit and that’s what gets eaten. It has the consistency of a grape, but it also has a small seed pit in the middle that you don’t eat. The fruit has a sweet taste that’s just as unique as its name and I prefer them “chilled”. We also had some Lychee Honey to taste and experimented with some mighty tasty libations!! Besides, tasting good, the fruit is high in Potassium and Vitamin C. The harvest season for lychees is from late May to early July, so you have plenty of time to plan in advance, unless you get the syrup or honey.
Louise was kind enough to send me some photos to share of their grove in bloom, picking and packing the fruits. Kenny the Beekeeper is also shown here as he brought in his hives. He set them in the grove as the flowers were starting to open, in February. The bees did all the work making up the tasty Lychee Honey and Kenny bottled it up.
Be sure to check out their website: http://www.tropicalfruitgrowers.com/ as they have lots of information and videos like this one: http://www.youtube.com/tropicalfruitgrowers#p/u/10/bZU7HHu4soo.