The lychee is a subtropical and tropical fruit tree from Taiwan, southern China, and Southeast Asia. Lychee has a whitish, delicate pulp with a sweet flavor and a pleasant flowery smell. Because this aromatic flavor won’t hold up to canning, it is mostly eaten fresh. The hard and rough rind is not edible, so the pretty pinkish-red outside is removed.
In South and Southeast Asia, India and China, Lychees are popular in many desserts. Lychees are grown all over China and likewise in Japan, Brazil, Pakistan, South-East Asia, Bangladesh, India, and now, also in Florida, California, Texas, Hawaii, Israel, Mexico the sub-tropical regions of South Africa and the wetter areas of eastern Australia. They require a warm subtropical to tropical climate that is cool but also frost-free.
Health benefits of lychees include: vitamin C, copper, phosphorus, and potassium. , lychees are low in sodium, saturated fat and are cholesterol free like most fruits. Lychees contain medium amounts of anthocyanins , phenolic compounds, polyphenols, flavanols, and smaller amounts of a glucoside called malvidin-3. Lychee is prized as a fruit with ‘hot’ properties in Chinese traditional medicine. The great balance of antioxidants are the reason lychee fruit fights cancer according to preliminary research results.
Where to buy lychee fruits? Lychees are often available fresh in Asian markets, and grocery stores around the world. If you are looking to buy dried lychee, keep in mind they are often referred to as nuts.