Lychee: fruit, "giving the joy of life"
Lychee is considered one of the most beautiful fruit plants on earth. This tree, giving attractive and tasty fruits, the Chinese call "giving the joy of life."
Tropical Sapindov family
An evergreen tree that is not tall by tropical standards and averages about 10–20 m in height is called lychee. Fruit, for many outlandish and unusual,It belongs to the tropical family of sapindoid dicotyledonous flowering plants that gave a person many tasty fruits: rambutan, corlan, longan, pulasan, aki, mamonchillo. The tree has a dark green narrow elongated leaves, slightly wavy at the edges; its small flowers are gathered in panicles. Oval fruits are usually collected in clusters of up to 20 pieces. Bright red fruit reaches a diameter of 5 cm. Externally, the fruits look like large strawberries, sometimes they are compared to chestnut.
Sweet and sour refreshing
Behind a dense and uneven skin, there is a jellylike pulp resembling grapes. The skin of the fruit when ripe becomes brittle and quite easily separated from the pulp.Pearl-white or pinkish translucent pulp has a pleasant sweet and sour, refreshing, slightly astringent taste and the finest aroma of tea rose. In the middle of the fruit is one brown seed.
The magical taste of "Chinese plum"
The exotic fruit litchi comes from southern China, its fruit here originally called the "dragon eye". They were considered food for the nobility, the peasants, encroaching on lychee, were severely punished. From China, the fruit spread throughout Southeast Asia, and a little later it could be found in the most remote corners of the globe. From the middle of the seventeenth century, they learned about litchi in Europe. The famous Spanish writer González de Menoze was the first to describe it. Fruit with a magical taste with his light hand received a new name - "Chinese plum".
Southeast Asia is still the main export center for lychee. The fruit, the cultivation of which is most favorable in a subtropical climate with dry, moderately cool winters, is actively cultivated, for example, in southern China, Japan and Thailand. The tree grows slowly and the first fruits give only after 10 years, with vegetative reproduction - on average after 6 years. Harvesting in the subtropics takes place from May to June.At the same time, whole stems are broken, as the separately collected fruits quickly deteriorate.
How to eat
Lychee is eaten fresh, frozen or canned. Often there are dried fruits, called "litchi nuts" (litchi nut). They are superior to the taste of other dried fruits. Fresh fruit before use, you need to wash, remove the peel, is used in food only pulp. Peeled lychee is added to drinks, desserts, salads, sauces, ice cream. Fruit perfectly combined with fish, poultry, pate.
Storage and transportation
For storage or transportation, the rosy fruits are cut together with a small part of the lychee fruit sprig. The fruit is placed in small baskets and kept until the color of the fruit turns brown. In this form, they can be stored for several months at temperatures ranging from -1⁰ to + 7⁰С.
Lychee fruits contain a lot of useful minerals (calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron and others), vitamins of group B, K, C, E, folic acid and others. Even in ancient times in China knew about the healing properties of the fruit.It is useful to use for the prevention of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. Beneficial effect onthe work of the digestive system only increased the popularity of litchi. Fruithelps with diseases of the digestive tract, hypoglycemia, diabetes and several others. It also has an excellent tonic effect, quenches thirst. However, the abuse of litchi fruits can provoke an allergy.