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Lychee is a rare sub-tropical fruit native to Southern China which was introduced to Florida and California in the late 1800's. The tree is a handsome hardwood which reaches 20-40 feet and in many cases it is used as an ornamental in landscaping.
Lychees are oval shaped fruits covered with a reddish brown inedible skin, inside the flesh is a crisp, juicy translucent pinkish white.
Lychees should be harvested at the peak of ripeness as they will not continue to ripen after picking. At this stage they are indescribably good.
Lychees should be eaten by themselves. They are too unusual and different to be mixed in an ordinary fruit salad, with the only possible exception of some bright red pomegranate grains. In fact these two marry extremely well and are a perfect ending for a Chinese meal.