With a lychee in her small eager hands,
her five senses played like a marching band.
Juicy and sweet it went,
it was to her heart’s content.
No wonder lychee are always such in demand.
WHAT ARE LYCHEES?
The fruit of a Chinese tree. Depending on the harvest for the year, you typically see this fruit available in HK June to mid-July.
Let me tell you – they are de-lish! Certified yummy in your tummy. Sweet, and juicy and has a nice summer taste to them. I used to eat them in Vancouver, but there, I bought them in big supermarket chains and the lychees were all packaged up. In Hong Kong, with the prevalence of wet markets, one should always get them at the wet markets if possible.
HOW DO YOU EAT THEM?
They require some attention when it comes to eating them. You have to peel off their skin and there is a pit in the middle and you do not eat either of those things.
TYPES AND VARIETIES:
There several different kinds of lychee, and they have different cycles and the two I was able to get today are 桂味 (Gwei May) & 糯米糍 (Loh Mai Chee).
WHICH ONE TO GET?
* TIP: If you go to a wet market, ask the seller for a sample and most will happily oblige. If they don’t, well, you might not want to buy from them…*
Size & Pit:
Loh May Chee is bigger in size, and both their pits are small relative to their size and the amount of meat.
Loh May Chee has a juicy, lighter, and more tart taste. The meat is also more airy-fairy. On the other hand, Gwei May has a denser meat, is sweeter and has the traditional lychee taste that one would taste in syrup lychees in a can.
The Loh May Chee(s) were 20HKD per pound with the stems attached and the Gwei May(s) were 12HKD per pound without the stems. There will be some prices discrepancies between fruit grannies at the wet market and locations.
The lady told me at the market that Gwei May will be unavailable around mid June, whereas, Loh May Chee will be available till the end of June.
Aiya… Just eat them! Lychee’s have a short duration of availability and to be honest, both varieties are dayum good.
A quick taste test with a sample size of 2 yielded no consensus. I personally like the Gwei May but my cousin liked the Loh May Chee. So… go get some and tell us which one you like better!