Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month – Lychee

Welcome to Conscious Maui’s latest “Fruit of the Month” Blog.  In May this blog covered the Ice Cream Bean, if you missed it click here to go back. Continue reading to learn more about the exotic lychee, where to find them and what to do with them once you do! Lychee is a great conversation starter, so many people have never tried lychee, share a lychee with a friend this season.

What is Lychee:
Lychee aka Litchi is a small sweet tropical fruit native to southern China. This tree grows very well on the Hawaiian islands it just needs to be planted.

Where to get Lychee:
Farmers Markets, Roadside fruit stands, Some grocery stores, and farmer’s Market. A friend or possibly there is one in your own yard. Only the truly fortunate have access to a lychee tree.

When to Harvest Lychee: On Maui lychee season is too short and happens during the summer. It may take many years, about 10, for a seedling to produce fruit, this fruit is worth the effort and the wait.

How to eat Lychee:
Lychee has a rough red skin that is peeled away using a thumbnail to expose the edible white pulp. It is difficult to accurately compare the flavor of a lychee to any other fruit. Many say it is similar to a peeled grape. Lychee tastes like an exotic flowery sweet grape with an occasional subtle hint of tartness. There is a large seed in the middle of the lychee that will sprout in several weeks if planted and cared for.

Why Lychee is so great for us:
Lychee is rich in Fiber, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Copper, and folate. It is so good for our health and even if it weren’t a health food the unique flavor makes it too good to pass up.