The Luscious Lychee: Why Eating This Tropical Fruit Is Getting Popular in the U.S.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- During lychee season in May
and June, fresh lychees are shipped each year from South Florida to markets
and grocery stores all over the U.S. where they are sold to eager tropical
Some South Florida lychee growers, like Bill Mee & Krystal Folino of
LycheesOnline.com, use the Internet to promote the growing awareness of this
exotic tropical fruit and to offer their fresh fruit directly to the public,
both retail and wholesale.
"Originally from South China, lychees are an important tropical fruit
outside of the US," says Bill Mee. "I have been growing lychee trees for over
14 years and I have seen the interest inside the U.S. increase steadily every
Versatile and easy to cook with, lychees are good as snacks and in
desserts, main dishes, side dishes and beverages. The flesh is similar in
consistency to a grape, but larger and sweeter. One cup of fresh lychee fruit
has only 125 calories, more of the antioxidant Vitamin C than oranges or
lemons, about as much dietary fiber as an apple with the skin and is loaded
You can tell that a lychee is ripe by the color and skin texture. The most
popular variety in the U.S. is the Brewster which, when ripe, is dark pink to
red-purple. The bumps on the skin flatten out and get smooth from the swelling
with juice and fruit sugars. A typical Brewster lychee is rounded heart-shaped
and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
"The most popular way to eat fresh lychees is to chill them and eat them
by peeling the skin off and eating the sweet, juicy flesh from around the
seed," says Folino. "To make your fresh lychees last beyond the short summer
season, you can freeze lychees, dry lychees, or make lychee jam, or lychee ice
Lychees are popular in drinks
Lychee Martinis are a hot new trend right now in bars and restaurants. You
just add lychee juice or liqueur and garnish with a lychee instead of an onion
or an olive.
Lychee wine can be made by either traditional fermentation or by soaking
the fresh fruit in wine for a few months for flavored wine.
Dozens of lychee food and drink recipes can be found at
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