Monday, May 19, 2008

Lychee Season...A Walk in My Neighborhood

This must be a bumper crop season for lychee!

Today, I decided that I needed some exercise. My body feels like it's turned to jello but is luckily being encased by my skin. Grossss! Gotta get out and get some sun, fresh air, and make my muscles tingle. So, grabbed my trusty camera and my ever trusty hubbie Jimmy and we headed out into our neighborhood. doo doo doo click click. Jimmy commented that our normally 1/2 hour walk would now take 2 hours. click click click...

I started taking photos of interesting, pretty, and unusual things along our route. I plan to use these photos in other blog articles in the near future. Anyway, as I was clicking away, Jimmy pointed out to me the lychee tree. For the first time, I noticed the red delicious round balls dangling in bunches like huge grapes from the green green leaved trees. It's LyCHee season...OMG! I don't recall seeing this many beautiful glorious little red gems hanging from the trees in my neighborhood for a long time.

A lychee tree loaded with lychee!

What are lychees you ask? Lychee trees are evergreen trees---according Wikipidea. It's fruits are covered w/ a bumpy hard red outer shell which is easy peasy to peel off. Inside is a white translucent fleshy fruit rich in Vitamin C and similar texture to grape but with a little more "umph". When it's ripe, this is a juicy sweet light fruit which, like Lay's potato chips, you can't eat just one. These babies are best ripe and cold from the fridge. OMG, just thinking about these makes my mouth water.

See, the skin is bumpy and turns red when ripe

You can get canned lychee from the Asian section in your grocery store. These are a good substitute for the fresh ones. Lychee is super popular in Asian countries and are used a lot in their desserts. Speaking of which, I love lychee over super fine shaved iced. A local traditional all time Hawaii fav dessert is the good old "Almond Tofu" with lots of lychee floating around. Another treat is to just freeze the fresh fruit in it's shell and then peel it when it's a lychee popsicle. What a cold delish treat!

And yet another lychee tree in the neighborhood

Check out the lychee on this tree!

It seemed like everywhere we went today there was another lychee tree that was covered in that red stuff! Ok, I didn't take a photo of one of the trees we came across b/c it's owner was outside watering his yard and didn't want to explain the reason I was taking photos of his tree. ;)

During lychee season, you all of a sudden remember that distant relative who has that huge lychee tree in their yard and sorta wander over to pay them a visit. We love lychee here in Hawaii. I love lychee. Try it next time you see it in your grocery store or are lucky enough to find it perhaps in your neighborhood Chinatown. You'll love lychee for sure.

UPDATE 2009: More pictures of Lychee from my friend Laurie's house near Salt Lake area. Check out the post HERE.

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