Whenever you are on the train in NYC and you see someone carrying this bright orange bag, you know they got something very interesting from Chinatown.
I was passing through Chinatown the other day and picked up some lychees, 2lbs for $3. You can usually find them along Mott st. and surrounding markets. For those who don’t know, lychees are a very popular fruit throughout Asia. Lychees are very nutritious and contains vitamin C, Potassium, Copper and provides an array of health benefits. Lychees are also known to aid with intestinal health, sore throats, and basically contributes to overall well being.
With all that said let’s figure out how to eat these 🙂
When I first tried Lychees out I was immediately reminded of quenepas (more on them later).
Just like the quenepas (Spanish limes), you crack it open to reveal the fruit inside. The outside shell of the lychee is rather stubbly and bumpy.
So there you go, a bumpy road…
to reveal a sweet juicy heaven! The seed of the lychee is surrounded by the juicy pulp you eat.
This is one very unique taste and I had like 20 in one sitting and not one tasted sour at all. Each one had such a sweet taste and alluring scent (almost like pomegranate), it was amazing.
Now let’s try Quenepas out (Spanish Limes)!
I have so many memories with quenepas, limonsillos, mamoncillos, kenep, genip (they have so many names). These are also known as Spanish limes and they are truly a great part of my childhood summer memories. Spanish Limes are very popular throughout the Caribbean and locally you can find them in many Dominican, Puerto Rican produce markets.
Some say quenepas are a cross between lychees and limes but who knows really? I did not find a lot of nutritional information on quenepas other than it contains most of the same vitamins and minerals as lychees.
But this is what I did find:
“Virgin Islanders sometimes eat genip or kenip fruit to alleviate diarrhea,4 and Haitians sometimes consume powdered roasted genip seed syrup or tea for the same purpose.3 Virgin Islanders have also been known to take a decoction of genip leaves and stems orally for coughs and fever.4 In Haiti, the macerated juice of genip leaves is gargled to relieve sore throat, thrush, and tonsillitis.3 A decoction of genip leaves is also drunk in the Bahamas to lower blood pressure.5 “ from HerbalGram.org
So quenepas and lychess basically helps alleviate both stomach and throat problems. Unlike the lychees bumpy exterior, quenepas have a very smooth texture and they do look like small limes.
Like the lychees, you crack open the quenepas and the pulp surrounded by the seed is what you eat.
Quenepas have this weird coating over it which is what I really don’t like, and has a tangy taste, not sour just a light tangy taste. They were not as sweet as the lychees but nonetheless they are amazingly good .
So make sure to always look around and discover great fruits which are secretly sitting in amazingly great flavors. These are great to have chilled maybe in the fridge for a couple of hours or have it sitting on ice. So for this match I have to say lychees are my new favorite snack. Lychees are so sweet and have an amazing aroma and with my sweet tooth tendencies this is a great light and refreshing alternative.