Exotic Fruits in China – Lychee

Chinese culture is always connected to the food – this is the conclusion that we made while writing the numerous articles about Chinese culture. Just open the post about Mid-Autumn Festival with its moon cakes; or the posts about the days before and after Chinese Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, when you have special dishes for almost every single day (Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese Spring Festival, Pork Stewing Day, New Year’s Eve, Lantern Festival, or Dragon Boat Festival as the examples).

And so, now is the time to eat delicious Lychee, or lìzhī in Pinyin (it has many other spellings). That is why we share this article with you! Enjoy reading!

Unlike the Durian and Mangosteen fruits, about which we told you during the previous weeks, Lychee fruit was originated in Southern China and only later was spread to other South Asian countries.

Lychees are small fleshy fruits, which grow on a tall evergreen tree. Outside it is covered with a pink-red inedible part and inside there is a sweet white flesh which can be eaten fresh, or in different desserts.

Cultivation of lychees began in the southern region of China in 1059 AD, but unofficial records refer as far back as 2000 BC. Some stories tell that lychees were the delicacy in the Chinese Imperial Court (and were in great demand there – so, there was a special “delivery” service with fast horses from the South China directly to the Imperial Court).

As many tropical fruits, lychees have a lot of benefits and plenty of vitamins. There is medical proof that lychees can relieve coughing, ease abdominal pain, and have a positive effect on tumors and swollen glands. The seeds are prescribed for testicular inflammation and neuralgia pain. It is said that tea made from lychee peelings can cure smallpox and diarrhea. “One of this fruit’s most plentiful and unique nutrients is oligonol, which contains a number of valuable antioxidants with the ability to fight flu viruses, improve blood flow, and protect the skin from UV rays” (http://foodfacts.mercola.com). The fruit is rich in vitamin C and B, which protect the body from cold and other infections; it helps to control blood pressure and heart rate; produces red blood cells; maintains healthy bones; prevents thyroid problems, and anemia.

Nevertheless, some scientists advise you not to eat too many of lychees at the same time (especially for children and on empty stomach). Because since the end of the 1990s, unexplained outbreaks of encephalopathy occurred, appearing to affect only children in India and northern Vietnam (it was called Ac Mong encephalitis after the Vietnamese word for nightmare) during the lychee harvest season from May to June.

It is very easy to open the lychees – just peel off the “cover”. If it is too hard for you, use a knife and enjoy the white delicious fruit. Traditionally, people eat lychee fresh, but there are plenty of recipes on the Internet – you can add it to desserts, or drinks – or you can dry lychees as well. It will look like a big raisin but in this way, you can keep them up to a year 😊

And now it is time to go to the closest supermarket to your home and buy these delicious fruits. Enjoy!

Not to miss our new “tasty” post – follow us on our social media platforms, leave the comment below and feel free to share any articles with your friends and family 😊

Written by Inna Mironova

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