The Lychee is a tropical fruit with a rough reddish skin, pale, sweet grape-like flesh and intriguing floral flavor. The delicious fruit pulp surrounds a large inedible seed. While the lychee's flavor has been compared to a blend of strawberries, watermelon, and grapes, it is truly unique.
This native of China has been prized throughout Asia for centuries. Today, lychees are grown in tropical regions of the United States, particularly Florida and Hawaii. Prime season for fresh lychees is June and July.
The lychee must be peeled before use. To quickly peel a lychee, cut through the skin lengthwise down to the seed with a sharp knife. Peel the skin away and pull the meat away from the pointed end of the seed.
Lychees are a wonderful addition to fruit salads and light, summery desserts, but they also add a touch of tropical sweetness to chicken dishes, stir fries and sweet & sour sauces.