For anyone interested in the mechanics of eating them, I push my thumb-nail into the top, near the stem, then tear the top off and peel the top third. Then I squeeze the bottom and shoot the fruit into my mouth.
Those look amazing Bob. Are those what they call dragon eye fruit? Always wanted to try those but have not seen them around here yet. I’m going to look online now that I know they are in season! Thanks
The “dragon eye” is a fruit called longan. Though they have their similarities, lychee definitely tastes better in my opinion. Lychee is bright and tangy, whereas longan is more mellow with a dull, melon-like flavor. And rose beetles tear longan leaves to shreds here anyway.
They are in season. My wife brought me some of those last weekend, but they are all gone now, so no pics.
That is a good description, though I think I actually like longan better by just a bit (both are very good). They are a bit less juicy than lychee, which also have a sharper flavor. I should mention that though there may be melon-notes in the flavor, don’t expect it to taste like a melon or have a similar texture. It is firmer and more fibrous than a melon. That may not sound good, but it is. The main drawback for me with longan is that hey are smaller than lychees, so it is a bit more work to eat them.
That’s disappointing to hear- I figured some day I would move to HI where I could grow them and lychees. Do lychees suffer the same fate? I think I saw GreenGardenGuy1 growing longan in his recent garden tour Youtube video.
I’m actually growing some longan seedlings in pots, as well as lychee seedlings. They look pretty similar and while I think I can still tell them apart by size (lychee is a year older), I need to label them soon before I lose track.
Oh yes, the flavor of a good longan is very nice, I just prefer a nice lychee like “Kaimana”. Both fruits are definitely worth trying if you can find them.
No, thankfully lychee doesn’t get bothered at all that way. There’s still a way to combat the beetles for longan though. I’ve seen a lot of people protect their young trees by putting up a screen barrier supported by stakes. My neighbor has a small orchard with longan and his mature trees (10 feet) will show signs of rose beetle feeding, but never enough to kill the tree or affect fruiting. (thankfully they have other things they might rather eat)
And lychee leaves should be more pointed (reminds me of eucalyptus), whereas longan is generally more oval-shaped.
And if you do consider moving to the islands one day, I would recommend checking out the Big Island.
I bought a pack of guavas (they are yellow with rock hard seeds in the middle) at WalMart. I’ve had them before but a long time ago. They are ok…nothing great. My grocery store carries passion fruit now but they are a couple bucks EACH… ehhh…i’ll pass.
LIke Bob, I prefer longan. They aren’t as pretty or refreshing, but they are richer and sweeter, and also easier to eat.
With longan, I just apply gentle pressure until a crack forms and propagates. Then squirt the fruit into my mouth and spit out the smooth, free-stone pit. I don’t recall if that works for lychee.
I also prefer European to Japanese plums and see some parallels to longan/lychee. I prefer, meatier, richer, sweeter, drier, easier to eat.
I’ll add, that when I’m in the tropics, I’m generally mindful of exposure to unpleasant microbes from fresh fruit, and washing can make things worse. I prefer whole fruit, still in its skin like longan.
Here’s this week’s lychees. She got 2 different kinds:
Bundle with Leaves (left)- these are normally more expensive, but this time they were just $1.50/lb. Maybe they were a day old? They taste good anyway and are a bit better to my tastes than the ones in the bag. But they are a bit dryer, so that statement my not be true for everyone.
Mesh bag (right)- they were $3/lb, which still isn’t that bad for Lychees. Sometimes they are 6-7$ per pound, but I guess we are in prime season now, which regrettably intersects with prime cherry season (I got some really nice ones last week for $1.88/lb). The ones in the bag had a nice, lighter flavor and were very juicy.
I took brix readings from both and wasn’t surprised to find that the bundled ones had 19, while those in the mesh bag were 15.
I thought about planting a few more of them, but didn’t find many “chicken tongues” (fruit with tiny seed and lots of flesh), which I’d like more of.
Maybe there is a spray- it looks like GGG has a good sized one at the start of part 2 in his video tour of his new place in HI. It isn’t his most interesting video, as a lot of it is just taken up with showing a long list of plants, but after Stephen Haybes, he is probably my favorite Youtube channel. Maybe different parts of the island have different pest pressures.
Makes sense to me. I also prefer Euro plums, though some of the Japanese ones (especially pluots) are very good too.
Could be the cultivar, but none of those lychee look perfectly ripe. The ones on the left appear over-ripe (too much red and black spots forming) and the ones on the right aren’t ripe enough. I like my lychee just before the skin turns compltely red, but they’re still nice as long as there’s no black/gray spots visible. I find that if they’re too ripe, they tend to lose a lot of their complex tangy-sweetness.
Very interesting! I’ve seen some of this guy’s videos before. But yes, different parts have different pest issues. Rose beetles don’t like his elevation, you can tell because of he’s growing ice cream bean, one of their favorite foods. But I’m sure he has Mediterranean fruit fly among other things. Also, rollinia may grow fine up there, but the flowers might not like his lack of humidity.
I buy those by the case…Aldis has them right now. They have them marked down here for like 59 cents a can… They are good…have a citrus taste going on… I rinse mine in water to wash off the sugar…they are still very sweet. I see they come from China.