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What is Lychee?

If you’ve had the opportunity to grow up in an Asian household or have a close friend that is Asian, you’ve most likely had some sort of experience where you had tasted lychee at least once. At least, we hope you did! Lychee is really delicious and delicate, you wouldn’t want to miss out on trying it. 

Lychee (or its juice) has been used in many dishes and drinks as it gains more popularity across other cultures. In America you’ll see some drinks (maybe alcoholic based) using lychee fruit and lychee juice to make a sweet cocktail. You might’ve also seen or tasted lychee by itself, many households especially in the warmer months like summer will buy the fruit itself and enjoy with the family. If you’ve grown up in an Asian household, you’ve probably had this lychee gummy candy that is so addicting! 

The lychee fruit itself has an outer texture that appears spiky in texture but it’s actually not sharp like the outside of a pineapple can be, though this isn’t the part that is eaten anyways. Inside lies the fleshy sweetness of the lychee fruit that everyone enjoys.

Let’s dive deeper into the lychee fruit and learn everything about the lychee fruit shall we? 

what is lychee

Where does Lychee come from?

Lychee is actually grown from a tree typically found in places like China or India. Growing and caring for the Litchi Chinensis tree takes time and patience. But it also requires the right tropical environment to thrive. Found typically in China from its tropical humidity and warmer climate throughout the year, the lychee tree grows very well here. 

If you’re thinking about growing this type of plant so that you can harvest the beautiful red lychee offsets, you’ll have to ensure you mimic the climate as best as possible to China or India. As rewarding as it can be to successfully harvest lychee from your own tree, don’t fret if you’re not successful in growing one. Like we mentioned, it’s very difficult to grow without having the correct environment and climate to begin with. 

What does Lychee Taste like? 

If you haven’t tasted lychee yet, you’ll have to really soon! With its fleshy and fresh inside the lychee tastes like a light florally grape if you will. It’s hard to describe the taste without actually giving it a try for yourself. 

The subtle sweetness with the balance of texture and floral hints to it, it’s no wonder why it’s popular amongst many desserts, jamscandy and even cocktails. Being that it’s so easy to eat, you’ll find yourself eating a whole basket before you know it! Give lychee a try and let us know what you think the taste is similar to, we can’t quite put our tongue on it just yet. Better yet, try making lychee bubble tea if you haven’t already! 

lychee cocktail
Lychee Cocktail

How to Eat Lychee 

Like with any fruit before eating it, don’t forget to give it a quick rinse under cold water! To make it easier for washing, using a strainer like the one we use all the time comes in handy, it’s so cheap too! You don’t want to deal with dirt or any other particles when handling your fruit. We’re curious, some people don’t wash their fruit before eating it, are you that person? 

Anyways, it is quite simple to eat lychee fruit! It may seem intimidating at first being that you might not know what to do with the spiky aspect of it. We know, the redness (or hint of brown) can be scary if you don’t know what to do.

First, all you have to do is begin peeling the outer shell. You may use a fruit knife to cut it open or help you peel it but we found that it’s just as easy to use your fingers to peel away. It’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it! 

Once you peel the outer shell away you’ll be pleasantly presented with the fleshy sweetness of lychee fruit. Before you munch on the lychee fruit, be very mindful that there is a hard seed/core in the middle of the flesh. So be warned, don’t bite down so hard otherwise you’ll be unpleasantly surprised when a tooth chips or worse breaks. We can’t chew our boba pearls when we go out with our friends for boba when our teeth break right? 

Work your way around eaten the outer flesh until the seed is exposed, once you’ve consumed the sweet fleshy goodness of the lychee fruit you may dispose the seed itself. You might be able to use it for replanting too! But if you still want to give it a try here’s some lychee seeds that you can use for planting, maybe your parents would like to take care of a lychee fruit, talk about a gift! 

Though like we mentioned before it is very difficult to grow a lychee tree when the right climate is not present. There’s a reason why lychee is only found in some areas of the world, it takes the right conditions to grow fully. So don’t be disappointed when your lychee tree isn’t growing the way you’d like, they’re very picky about their environment! 

Lychee Benefits

lychee fruit bunch
Lychee Fruit

Like many fruit, lychee also bears a lot of nutrients and benefits for anyone eating the sweet delicate fruit. Starting with the nutritional values that lychee has to offer, it has a lot of similarities to other fruits. It is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, protein and more! 

If you didn’t know, vitamin C is important for repairing our bodies tissues and other bodily functions. For vitamin B6, it’s very important for the health of our cognitive system; things like staying alert or being sharp! You’ll be able to find a popular vitamin B6 supplement here if you’re interested. We’re sure you’re aware but fiber helps with the digestive system which many fruits aid in. And last but not least, protein is a huge factor in building and repairing tissues in our body to help our bodily functions be as efficient and effective as possible. 

In general lychee has many more benefits for our bodies just like any other fruit. Lychee helps aid in digestion like we mentioned before with the great source of fiber. It also helps with our immunity and continues to build with its great source of vitamin C. The balanced nutritional values aid in controlling blood pressure and lychee may even be a source of preventing cancer, according to some studies. 

Now that you know a little bit more about lychee we hope you take a liking of it if you haven’t tried it before! With its nutritional benefits and delicious (maybe even addicting) taste, there’s no reason not to like it! Let us know if you give this fruit a try, we’d love to hear how your first experience was. Oh and remember just talk about boba, duh! 

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