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It’s Lychee Time!

June 24, 2010

We’re now in the very short Florida lychee season.  I love lychees!  They are delicious, with the texture of a peeled grape and the perfume of a rose.  Mmmm…  They are really interesting to look at also.

Lovely lychees.

I was happy to see FAPC member J & C Tropicals lychees in the grocery store the other day.

In addition to J & C, there are a handful of other FAPC members who produce lychees.  You can do an agricultural product search on our website (www.florida-agriculture.com) to find information about the following farms:

A. Martinez Produce Corp.
A.R. Produce & Trucking
All Locally Grown Produce, LLC
Brooks Tropicals
Erickson Farm, Inc.
Fresh King, Inc.
J & C Tropicals, Inc.
LNB Groves
M & M Farms, Inc.
New Limeco, Inc.
PNS Farms
Southern Specialties
Steele’s Tropical Fruit
Unity Groves Corp.

Lychee peels are thin and brittle so they are easy to remove.  The seeds look like a chocolate covered almond (unless they are shriveled up – those are called “chicken tongue” seeds) and are not edible.  They freeze well, so pick up an extra pack or two to enjoy later.

For more information about lychees, check out the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida website at www.tropicalfruitgrowers.com.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary permalink
    June 24, 2010 1:01 pm

    So how about a few ideas from those of you that eat these. I have never had one and would like to try them.

  2. Melissa permalink
    June 24, 2010 1:43 pm

    Hi, Mary. Thanks for the great question! Imagine a peeled grape and the texture of that. The flavor is almost like a grape but a little more floral. They are sweet and juicy, so they are very refreshing.

    In addition to eating them fresh, you can cook with them. They go well with chicken, meats and seafood and you can use them in place of grapes or other fruits when cooking. They taste great when they are frozen, almost like sorbet.

    An interesting ingredient that goes well with lychees is curry powder. In fact, I love this coconut curry dish I make with chicken or shrimp. Saute either protein with some fresh garlic, ginger and onion powder, pour some coconut milk over and add a hit of curry powder. The last time I made this I didn’t have fresh ginger so I used crystallized ginger with great results. In the last step I added some golden raisins, but adding fresh lychees instead would be yummy! If you’re feeling extra indulgent, toast some coconut as a topping. (Sorry I don’t have exact measurements, it was just an experiment I tried a couple of times with ingredients I had at home that worked well.)

    Some other ideas might be adding them to gelatin, cottage cheese or fruit salads. The fruit is clear so if you are preparing something special and want to use lychees, you don’t have to worry about your dish having an odd color. You could also freeze them and then use in smoothies with yogurt or fruit juice.

    If you have any other questions, please write back and I’ll be happy to answer them!

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