ExoticFruitsUK Lychee

Lychee

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Introduction

Lychee (Litchi chinensis) is a tropical fruit native to China but it is has also been introduced in many Asian countries. In total, there are many subspecies of lychee but only one is cultivated as a source of food. The fruit’s skin is rough but its edible flesh is succulent, white and translucent. Each fruit contains one large, shiny, brown seed.

History

Lychee is believed to have originated more than 2,000 years ago in the northern mountain forests of southern China. China became the first country to cultivate the fruit and from China it was later introduced in Taiwan, South Africa, and Americas.

Regions

Lechee is cultured in the warm sub-tropics, cropping best in regions with brief, dry, frost free winters and long, hot summers with high rainfall and humidity. It is produced in significant amounts in China, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Australia.

Flavours & Texture

Lychee has a balanced sweet and sour taste and many people have described its taste like a combination of grape and cherry. It has a texture reminiscent of fresh aloe or a green grape, with a translucent white colour.

Preparation

You will need to peel off the skin of lychee and also the seeds need to be removed as they are not edible. Only the flesh of lychee is edible. You can eat it raw in a fruit salad, in smoothie or in desserts.

Nutritional Value

Lychee has a very good nutritional profile as it contains a very small amount of fat and it is very rich in vitamin C.

Calories per 15 pieces

90 kcal

Fat

0.5 g

Carbohydrate

24 g

Protein

1 g

Iron

2 % of the RDI

Calcium

1 % of the RDI

Vitamin C

170 % of the RDI

Vitamin A

1 % of the RDI