Wednesday, November 21, 2012


New African Food Week, continued:

I'm cheating a little on this one, because this is not just an African food.  But it is new to us here living in Africa, so please let it slide...

Meet litche, also known as lychee: Litche is a subtropical fruit originally found in Asia. It is usually eaten by itself rather than being in other products.  We were first introduced to this fruit in juice form.  Here in southern Africa, litche juice is often combined with apple juice or pear juice for a super sweet taste. The fruit can also be found canned or dried year round.  As litche came into season a few weeks ago here, markets are now inundated with fresh versions of the golf-ball sized fruit.

Lychees start as a pinkish-green, but in the refrigerator they turn to a dark brown.  

The interior, however, is always white.  The peels are the thickness of avocado skin, though they are bumpy on the outside.

Here a blurry Jonas holds an entirely peeled litche up to the camera before eating it.  The litche has the texture of a large peeled grape with a sweet taste all its own. 

Inside is a smooth pit that is said to be poisonous if eaten.

One can buy litches by the bagful at markets in southern Africa.  We bought Jonas a bag, of which he ate the entire thing in a day.  We bought him a second bag, which he looked at and said, "No thanks."  He's never eaten one again.  Apparently one can get too much of a good thing!