Lychees have a pink-brown, thin, knobbly shell which needs to be peeled off to reveal a juicy, fragrant, almost translucent white flesh, with a sweet, aromatic flavour. Inside the flesh is an inedible brown stone.

The lychee is the most popular Chinese fruit and is extensively grown in the sub-tropical south-east, where it has been cultivated for well over a thousand years. The fruit originated either there, or in the ancient kingdom of Annam which is now central Vietnam.

LYCHEE are classed as a fruit.


Eat as they are as a healthy snack, or poach peeled lychees in a light syrup and serve for dessert.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (raw): energy 66 kcal, 264 kJ; protein 0.83g; carbohydrate 16.53g; fat 0g.


Peel off the brittle shell to reveal the flesh. Discard shell and internal stone .


Store in a refrigerator. Lychees do not ripen further after harvest.


Choose lychees that are firm, dry and heavy for their size. Avoid lychees that are wet, soft or have cracked shells.

Fun Fact

Traditionally served at the end of a Chinese meal, lychees are a Chinese symbol of romance.


Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.

South Africa