Friday, June 1, 2012

Alien Ingredient #32: Fresh Lychee

About 30 years ago, I got turned off to lychees when I was served a plate of canned ones as a dessert at a really bad American Chinese restaurant. They tasted and smelled like bad perfume.

Flash forward to 2012. The local FoodMaxx had a huge display of fresh lychees at a very reasonable price, so I brought a big bag back to the restaurant, where we immediately set about them. You can see in the photo above that they have a thin red skin which peels off easily revealing a very juicy white fruit with the consistency of peeled grape. Some have a big pit like you see here; others have a very tiny pit and correspondingly more fruit.

Fresh, ripe lychee tastes like good Gewürztraminer, sweet with essences of rose petals and other floral characteristics and none of that old-lady-with-way-too-much-perfume character that turned me off to the canned variety decades ago. The fresh fruits have a bit of tannins that I was not expecting. This is not a bad thing: the tannins are quite refreshing.

Like most fresh fruit, we don't plan to do anything with them; just eat them out of hand. It's really hard to improve on something that is already good.

Vote: Delicious, affordable, love them!

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