Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lychees! No, not leeches!

Don't panic, I don't have leeches.  I bought lychees!   It's Summertime and I have been eating my share of fruit.  It's incredibly refreshing, hydrating, and tasty on a hot 100 degree day like today!  On my trip to the Asian market, I bought a big bag of fresh lychees.  Yes, again, this another delicious fruit that I had in Thailand, but also ate a lot of growing up.  My Mom always used the fruit in Thai desserts and yum, it's soooo good!  Trust me.

Just in case you've never heard of it...

(According to Webster's Dictionary)  
Lycheeli·tchi also li·chee \ˈlē-(ˌ)chē, ˈlī-\  1 : the oval fruit of a Chinese tree (Litchi chinensis) of the soapberry family having a hard scaly reddish outer covering and sweet whitish edible flesh that surrounds a single large seed—called also lychee nut

Most people that have tried the lychee may have tried it in a martini at a Thai or sushi restaurant or sometimes you'll see it as a sorbet.  Lychee martinis seem to be a trendy thing right now.  A lot of times restaurants use the canned version for their popular libation.  While I won't pass up a lychee martini if its presented to me, the fresh, real-deal is the best!  They have a sweet, almost floral, tropical flavor with a grape-like texture.  It truly has a unique taste of its own.  I say a lychee tastes like...lychee.  
Lychees are low in calories - only 63 in 10 average-sized fresh ones, which also provide about 69 milligrams of vitamin C, more than you would get in a small orange or half a grapefruit.  Awesome, right?
I have also seen the fresh lychees at Whole Foods Market, and sometimes you can see them at your fancier grocery stores from time to time.  If you come across them don't be afraid to try it! 

So this is how it's done.  (please excuse my photos - they were taken with my iphone)

 Rinse the lychees under cool running water

Peel about a quarter off of the thin leathery skin at the top. Squeeze the bottom and pop the fruit into your mouth, being careful not to eat the seed in the middle.

The seed, or lychee nut.  Looks kinda like a kalamata olive, huh?

Here's a little spread I made for the hubby.  I like to have fresh fruit ready for him as a snack when he comes home from work.  It keeps him from snacking too much before its time for dinner. I stuck with a red theme: red cherries, dragon-fruit, and lychees!

 Yay, he loved it!