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Miami Redland Lychee Love

Lychee 1The season is upon us again. I love this time of year in the Miami Redland. May, June and July always mean there’s lychees around somewhere in the Redlands.

For those of you who may not know what a lychee is, I’ll explain. Well, I’ll give you my take on it. I was only introduced to them 4 years ago. They quickly became my favorite fruit. The fact that I can only enjoy them a short time each year makes them even more precious.

Lychees (pronounced lee-chees by most, and lie-chees by others) are also called (incorrectly) lychee nuts sometimes. They’re not nuts at all and the seed is not edible. You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about lychees here.

Lychee 2Lychees are smaller than a ping pong ball and usually heart shaped. The skin is warty and leathery and breaks easily when you bite into it to get the fruit. The flesh of the fruit slides out easily and is reminiscent of a huge, luscious grape. Lychees are related to mamoncillos, or quenepas, if you know what those are. Lychees are native to China and I’m so glad they found their way over here. They are slightly acidic but sweet although not overly sweet.

I have 8 lychee trees in my yard but the hurricanes of 2 years ago have prevented us from getting much fruit. Last year we got none and this year only 2 of the trees produced, and very little at that. Lychee trees usually produce fruit only every other year but the hurricanes made our waiting time even longer.

Lychee 3A couple of weeks ago I was driving along 147th Avenue and gasped and pulled over. I gave my mother a terrible fright! She thought something was wrong, but no, something was RIGHT! There alongside the road was a farmer selling his lychees! At $5 a pound I only bought 2 pounds but would have bought more if I had had more cash on me. To demonstrate how popular lychees are around here I have to tell you that by the time I finished paying for my lychees, there were 6 other cars waiting to buy theirs. I asked him if he would be back the next day but he said he didn’t have that many to sell. I understood totally. They’re hard to find this year. That also explains the price. One can usually find them for $3/lb and at the end of the season even $2/lb.

I can’t wait for next June!

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