The Lychee (sometimes called the "Lychee nut") is an Asian favorite among tropical fruits. Personally, I rate it at the very top of the list of my favorites. Although very similar to the "Longon", the flavor of the fresh Lychee is more "flowery" and complex than it's cousin. And unlike other Asian fruits (like Durian), enjoying Lychee doesn't require an "acquired taste". This means that most people would enjoy Lychee without fear (unlike people that have tried Durian). It's hard to describe the taste of Lychee because it's very hard to compare with other fruits. My advice is just to be brave, and try it for yourself.
Also, the reason I decided to review Lychee is because I recently saw it at Trader Joe's! It came in a medium plastic box (not unlike strawberries) and costed about $4.00. Lychee is a seasonal fruit, so when it's in season (July/August) ... make sure you get your fix! :)
Note: Lychee is also available "canned"... but it's not half as good as it is fresh, and just doesn't taste the same. So I recommend trying it "fresh" first!
The lychee (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration spelling) or laichi and lichu is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family Sapindaceae. It is a tropical fruit tree. It is primarily found in China, India, Madagascar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, southern and central Taiwan, northern Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Southern Africa and Mexico. It is a fragranced fruit with a sweet taste.
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree, reaching 15–20 m tall, with alternate pinnate leaves, each leaf 15–25 cm long, with 2-8 lateral leaflets 5–10 cm long; the terminal leaflet is absent. The newly emerging young leaves are a bright coppery red at first, before turning green as they expand to full size. The flowers are small, greenish-white or yellowish-white, produced in panicles up to 30 cm long.
The fruit is a drupe, 3–4 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The outside is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed. They are eaten in many different dessert dishes. The inside consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape only much less moist. The edible flesh consists of a highly developed aril enveloping the seed. The center contains a single glossy brown nut-like seed, 2 cm long and 1–1.5 cm in diameter. The seed, similar to a buckeye seed, is not poisonous but should not be eaten. The fruit matures from July to ...