Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Lychee - A to Z Challenge 2015

I first discovered LLycheeychees in the Chinese restaurant called Hong Kong in London many, many years ago. In those days one only ever saw them canned but I always enjoyed them. Today in most markets you can buy fresh Lychees if you are so inclined. The fruit originated in China but is now cultivated in many places in the world with China and India being the leading growers. According to Wikipedia a lot of the delicate floral smell and delicate sweet flavour is lost in canning so the choice is to eat the fruit fresh. It’s cultivation goes back to 2,000 BC. It was first described and introduced to the west by a Polish Jesuit missionary in 1656. How come I never heard of it til my 20s if we knew about it in the west for so long. Mind you I guess the war wouldn’t have helped. We didn’t get bananas or pineapples til well after the war years so Lychee would have been the same. I loved the flavour out of a can so imagine the fresh fruit would be delectable.

The first recipe I came across had canned fruit so I abandoned it.

Pineapple, Strawberry, and Lychee Parfaits


Crushed fresh pineapple infused with mint serves as a refreshing base for pineapple-strawberry-and-lychee-parfaits-106344-sssummer berries and lychees in this cool parfait. The leftover pineapple syrup would be great in rum cocktails or mixed with seltzer for a nonalcoholic drink.

Recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine

SERVINGS 6 to 8

Ingredients
  • 2 medium ripe pineapples (about 3 pounds each)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup small fresh mint sprigs; more for garnish
  • 4 cups ripe strawberries, hulled, halved lengthwise if large
  • 16 fresh lychees, shelled and pitted, or one 20-ounces can lychees, drained, rinsed, and halved lengthwise if large
1. 
Trim the pineapples and quarter them lengthwise. Cut away the cores and rinds of each quarter and cut the pineapple into 1-1/2-inch pieces. Working in batches, pulse the pineapple in a food processor until crushed or about the size of grains of rice (it's fine if a few pieces are larger or smaller).
2. 
In a large nonreactive saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of the sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pineapple and let the mixture return to a hard boil. With a spoon, skim away and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Boil for 1 minute and then remove the pan from the heat. Add the mint sprigs and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Remove and discard the mint. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
3. 
One hour before serving, in a small bowl, mix the strawberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate.
4. 
To serve, drain the liquid from the pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl. Divide the pineapple into clear glasses, saving the syrup for another use. Top with the strawberries and lychees and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Have a great day
Jo

56 comments:

  1. I love Lychee. They are available at the end of the May in my city. I will try the recipe you mentioned :)

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  2. I love lychess. But sadly they increase the heat in the body for me :(

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  3. Hi Jo, what a great idea serving up all these super recipes. thank you, anne stenhouse. Novels Now

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    1. I do this all year, this is just a slightly different format Anne.

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  4. I've seen the name in menus and probably stores in San Francisco but I was never adventurous enough to try one.

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    1. They are a very delicate flavour, but really delicious.

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  5. I tried them once back in the 70's and didn't like them. Since my taste preferences have changed over the years, I guess I should try them again.

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    1. I have always tried things every two years and frequently ended up liking things I hated at the beginning.

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  6. I don't think I've ever seen it fresh or canned.

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    1. You do surprise me Alex. Do you ever go to a Chinese restaurant? They often have them.

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  7. I am a frequent visitor to Chinese cuisine... but never heard of this.

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    1. Amazing. I am going for lunch at our local Mandarin restaurant today, I will do some investigation.

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  8. Hi, Jo,

    Oooo, that parfait looks so refreshing! I'll definitely have to try it!

    I hope you find your earring! Say a prayer to St. Anthony if you are so inclined. He helps in finding lost objects.....

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    1. Thanks Michael. Didn't know about St. Anthony.

      I just checked our Chinese restaurant, not a Lychee in sight

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  9. Yum, looks and sounds tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipe and insight. I will try it.

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    1. Not sure if I can get Lychees Stephanie.

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  10. The parfait really does look refreshing! It sounds like the perfect treat for this time of year.

    Julie

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    1. I would love to try it, but will have to go on a hunt for lychees

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  11. "You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, 'Let's get some parfait,' they say, 'Hell no, I don't like no parfait'? Parfaits are delicious!"

    Now name the movie. :)

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    1. I am not good on movies David. Parfaits are certainly delicious though.

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  12. I'll add on to what everyone else is saying: that parfait looks delicious. It's a versatile dessert.

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    1. Yes it would be easy to change up the fruit.

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  13. Never heard or tasted lychees until eating at a Chinese restaurant, and then couldn't get enough. I'll look in the International food---fresh or canned-- section at local store.

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    1. I have to go hunting too. Friend I just had lunch with used to live in Vancouver. Said you could get fresh ones there at the end of the summer and they were much better.

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  14. Hi! It is nice to meet someone else going through the food alphabet! :) I've never eaten a lychee, but now I think I will! Three Friends and a Fork

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    1. I must admit I haven't eaten one in a long time.

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  15. Hi Jo - yes lychees fresh .. they are so much nicer than in tins ... and I do buy packets of them occasionally ... they make a change ... cheers Hilary

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    1. So I understand. Girlfriend at lunch was saying the same. I think I have eaten them fresh in the UK but not for many years now.

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  16. I will have to try this. I liked them when I was in Toronto on Spadina Ave-all the markets-yum

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    1. Never been there Birgit. We avoid big towns like the plague although I do like markets.

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  17. I've never heard of Lychee, and look forward to discovering it, thanks to you! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. If you can find them Lisa, they are delicious.

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  18. Lychees are my favourite Christmas fruit as they're always so cheap compared to stone fruit such as plums, apricots and peaches. They're plentiful over here but much more around the festive season.

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    1. I wonder - from that I guess we would get them in the summer here then, like June and July. Either that or I'll have to spend Christmas in Oz.

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  19. I've always wanted to try Lychee. That parfait sounds yummy. :)

    -Chrys Fey
    Tremp’s Troops - A to Z Co-co-host
    Write with Fey

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    1. Seems like the summer is the best time rather than trying canned ones.

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  20. I'll have to research and see if we have them here. Sounds good.

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    1. Can't remember where you're from but if you are south you should be able to get them by the sound of it.

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  21. Great summer dessert with a different taste. Ask your guests to identify the ingredients. Fun!

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    1. Good idea Nat. I should try that.

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  22. Definitely not your average parfait receipe. Sounds like a perfect thirst quencher. Thanks for sharing the ingredients Jo.

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    1. You're welcome - always looking for different things to eat.

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  23. They are delicious! I used to have them at a friend's house. His parents immigrated from Vietnam.

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    1. Well the Asians certainly are familiar with them. I was disappointed the Chinese restaurant today didn't have any, but maybe it's the wrong time of year.

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  24. I'm a fan of fresh, whatever it is, and the fresh lychees come out here at Christmastime (summer) in Australia. Beautiful in the fruit platters. I kindly seed them for guests.
    The recipe sounds wonderful. I love lychee ice cream too. So refreshing in summer!

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    1. I am presuming if you get them in summer in Oz we would find them here in the summer too. We get a lot of other stuff which is quite rare so I expect we get those too. Lychee ice cream sounds delicious.

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  25. I haven't heard of this; it does sound tasty though. I'll have to look for it if it is available here.

    betty

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    1. You can always ask the produce manager of your store. I checked my store today, no kumquats, no Lychees, no dragon fruit.

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  26. I've never heard of lychee before, but they sound delicious.

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    1. They are Danielle if you can get hold of them, especially the fresh ones.

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  27. I love lychees too! Here in India, they spell them like this- litchi.
    Is it a reference to the same fruit?
    We get tetra-packed Litchi juices that are really amazing..
    But I prefer peeling off the skin and consuming the fruity deliciousness!

    Fellow #AtoZChallenge blogger.
    Mithila @Fabulus1710
    http://www.fabulus1710.blogspot.in

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    1. It sounds the same Mithila. I do hope I will be able to find some this summer.

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