It’s lychee season!
Here’s a list of everything you ever wanted to know about these fruity little power packs.
- The nobbly, red-hued, gently perfumed fruits are native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of southern China.
- To this day, China remains the world’s main producer of lychees, followed by India.
- Lychees pack proper a health punch, containing vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, folate, copper, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and manganese.
- Unofficial Chinese records refer to the lychee tree as far back as 2000BC. Today the trees still grow wild in parts of southern China and on Hainan Island.
- In the first century, fresh lychees were in such demand the Imperial Court had a special courier service to rush the fruit to the Emperor’s table straight from Guangdong.
- Lychees make a mean summer cocktail – take three four lychee fruits (peeled and stoned) and blend with the juice of half a lime, add vodka, a couple of teaspoons of honey and ice, shake, and serve in a pre-chilled glass.
- Lychee season runs throughout May and June – check your local wet market.
- They’re great blended with a little canned lychee juice and served over pancakes.