Ohhh, summer. How I love thee. You deliver, time after time, year after year, bounties of fresh fruit – from the biggest blueberries and blackberries to the prettiest peaches and plums. Choosing a favorite fruit is like choosing a favorite child – how could you possibly? But…we all have our favorites, don’t we? Come on, admit it (I won’t tell). I’m a girl of the tropics and I like my fruit that way too. Mangoes, guavas, papayas, pineapples, and passion fruit – pass them my way. At the top of the list, sits lychees and longans, my all-time favorites. Longans aren’t quite in season yet, so I’ll just tell you a little about my lychee friends.
They grow on trees native to Southern China and are known for their sweet, fragrant and delicious fleshy, pale-white seed covering. Gewurztraminer grapes and wines share many of the same floral notes. “Chicken-Tongue” lychees have small, undeveloped fruit and are prized due to having more flesh than seed. So prized in fact, legend has it that an Emperor of the Tang Dynasty lost his throne because he demanded fresh lychees delivered on a regular basis – at great cost to the Chinese people. (Typical politician – carelessly spending money that isn’t theirs). Lychees do not improve in flavor once picked. Twelve lychees have less than seventy calories – though I never stop at just twelve. And finally, lychees were the fruit of choice for our family road trips growing up and will always hold a special place in my heart. Lychees…how I love thee.
Do you have a favorite fruit story?