Friday, 20 January 2017

Profile On: Lychee

 As part of our Profile On series (see our latest Profile On blogpost here), this week we take a look at the delicious, sweet and juicy lychee.

What is it?
The exotic lychee fruit is from the soapberry family. The evergreen trees they grow on can reach 100 feet.

What does it look like?
They are red or pale orange fruits with a tough, "bumpy," easily peeled skin resembling large raspberries. Each contains white flesh and a single, large, inedible seed, which makes this fruit a drupe (for the uninitiated, a drupe is a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed, e.g. a plum, cherry, almond, or olive.)

Other names?
Sometimes known as "litchi" or a similar spelling variation, it can be pronounced lee-chee.

Where's it from?
It is a tropical fruit tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world

How do I eat it?
Lychee is typically enjoyed fresh; remove a bit of the skin and then squeeze the aril — the fleshy part around the seed — into your mouth

What does it taste like? 
Lychee is juicy with a distinctive, slightly acidic fragrance and flavor, comparable to grapes.

What are the health benefits?
Eating lychee has many benefits. They contain flavonoids, which are antioxidant compounds known for their role in helping to prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. The nutrients in lychee, including magnesium, copper, iron, vitamin C, manganese and folate, are all required for blood circulation and formation of blood; and they have more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C in just one cup.

What is your favourite way to eat lychee? Let us know @office_fruit

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