Introducing Fresh Lychees

by Dorothy Reinhold on May 14, 2012

Print This Post Print This Post Fresh Lychees

There are two choices with fresh lychees: You can like them, or you can love them.

Me? I love, love, love them.

Who was the first wise guy with the courage to pluck one, skin and eat it? It must have been done on a dare, because once you peel that sandpapery, rough, bright red rind, the inside is distinctly challenging – gelatinous and translucent white. The flesh is a bit like if you had peeled a grape, only whitish. The flavor? Unmatched!

To say it looks improbable as food is severely understating it.

But don’t let humble looks stop you! Strip a lychee down and you will be rewarded with a cool, sweet, perfumed eyeball of a fruit that hints of the tropics. A prominent seed can be removed with your fingers, or spit out (more fun!). The skin peels easily once you get it started.

If all you know of lychees is the overly sweet canned variety, forget what you think you know and re-open your mind to this exotic tree fruit.

How to eat fresh lychees Keeping them: Fresh, they will keep in the refrigerator up to 10 days. The bright red rind might turn a little brownish, but that won’t affect the taste.

Their season is May-September, and they retail for $3.99-$4.99 a pound. My sample, provided to me by the fruit and veggie experts at Melissa’s Produce, came from Mexico, although lychees are also grown in Taiwan, China, Brazil, Japan, elsewhere in Southeast Asia, and in California, Hawaii, Texas and Florida.

Health benefits: The lychee contains, on average, a total 72 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, according to the USDA. Snacking on nine lychee fruits would supply an adult’s daily recommended Vitamin C requirement, on average.

How to Eat Lychees

Fresh Lychees

Serving: I’m a fan of eating them out of hand, for the freshest flavor and most fun. You’ll want to peel them as you eat them, not ahead of time.
–Serve them in a bowl of ice, with instructions on how to peel and a little bowl to the side for the pits, if you like.
–Freeze them whole, with the rind on. When you are ready to eat them, thaw, peel and you won’t know they had been frozen. Or run the frozen lychees under warm water for 15 seconds to thaw the skin, then peel, and eat them frozen!
–Or skin and pit them and use them in…

freezing fresh lychees

Freeze them whole if you like.

If you’re still feeling anxious about them, give a quick look at this 2-minute video that shows you how to peel and pit lychees. It’s super easy, but if you are one who likes to watch before you do it yourself, this is for you.

Go ahead, be brave and expand your fruit world, and then tell me how you like them!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Terry D Grewer May 24, 2019 at 6:38 pm

I purchase Lychee’s from They are great!


Dorothy Reinhold May 24, 2019 at 8:38 pm

That’s great to know, as a resource!


DON SHELDON December 30, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Where in ann arbor, michigan can i buy fresh lychee and
purple majesty potatoes?


Dorothy Reinhold January 2, 2019 at 3:31 pm

I live in California, so I don’t really know, but I think if you contact Melissa’s Produce, you can get some shipped to you.


susan @ the wimpy vegetarian July 29, 2014 at 10:17 pm

I have never ever had a lychee! You’ve motivated me to change that. I’m buying them the next time I see them!


Dorothy Reinhold July 30, 2014 at 7:16 am

They’re weird and wonderful! Try them!


Rituparna May 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

Oh! I love lychees. N yes they are best eaten fresh. Freezing I have never tried, but what an excellent idea.


Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry May 16, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I have never had these before, but I love all the information you gave me here. Great pictures too!


Mimi Avocado May 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Dorothy, I’m so glad you did this post! I have tried Lychees …maybe once…and I can’t remember when that was. Sounds like an adventure in the making! I’m just getting acquainted with Melissa’s site…sooo many great things there! Guess I’ll be ordering some Lychees now that you’ve charged up my comfort level to try them!


Dorothy May 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Definitely look for them and get some. They are fun to eat (always good to have fun with your food), as well as uniquely tasty.


Laura @ Family Spice May 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

My husband brought some fresh lychees home once and we ate them. The kids? They were intimidated by the slimy inside!


Dorothy May 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

My son, 10, loved them for exactly that reason…they were slimy and interesting! Go figure!


My Man's Belly May 15, 2012 at 8:17 am

Love the lychee tutorial. Hopefully more people will try them fresh instead of the canned (when they’re in season). They’re so much fun to eat when they’re fresh. I like making fresh lychee martini’s.


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