store bought lychees - do they ripen?

jeff-n-jessaJuly 11, 2008

Hi - I picked up some lychees from a local Asian food market. They are soft, but tan. Some have a small blush of red.

Will they continue to ripen, or should I just eat them now?

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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Jess- Fresh lychee should be red or slightly green depending on variety. If it turn tan, meaning it been out too long. The lychee does not ripe after picking. If you put the lychee in the refrigeration it will be more refreshing.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 5:32PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

my local china town has lychees that are mainly olive green with touches of red. the seller says they are from china. i tasted a few and found them to be very subpar. if those r the ones you bought and it sounds like they are, i dont think u will be very impressed. let us know what you thought of the taste. also if you get the chance, ask the seller which country they originated from and what variety they are.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 6:56PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

There are different varieties. The prices are different too. I got some fresh totally red ones for $7.99/lb in Chinatown. They told me it's 'No Mai Tsze', but I think it was the sweetheart because of the shape and wet inside. The green ones are unknown. But I think it's the emperor or Early Large Red lychees. It cost $3.99/lb. I don't think they are shipped from China. I think they are from Florida...but then I could be wrong. The green ones are not that good compared to the red ones. Some are tart, sour, some sweet, and juicy. They're okay to eat since I don't have that many option. I think they will have more different variety later.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:05PM
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north_tree_man

Lychees do not ripen off of the tree. Furthermore, any lychees bought in an area that has to import them, will have sub-par flavor/sweetness. That is due to farmers picking them early for shipping. This is precisely the reason I (and many others on this forum) am growing four trees in my home.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:09PM
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jeff-n-jessa

thanks everyone - they weren't very good

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:26PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

We bought some too today from our local Asian market. Probably same kind. My wife gave them a 3 out of 10. Most were okay but nowhere near the flavor of the Brewsters we had in Florida recently. The ones with more pink are a bit sweeter. The big plus is that nearly every one so far has had chicken tongue seeds.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 7:41PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

i have to disagree with ntm's statement that all imported lychees have subpar flavor.
the mauritius lychees they sell in NY at the beginning of june are imported from florida and are amazing- they tatsted far better than the brewster lychees i ate right off the trees in florida

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 10:57PM
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phase0001(z10 CA)

LL, are these mauritius still available? I wonder if you can help me to buy some. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 12:47AM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

Phase, unfortunately, they are only available for the first 10 days or so of June. I would guess that some mauritius will be sent to CA next year at the same time. If not you will be reduced to buying them online where they charge ridiculous prices.

At last check, I did have 6 lychees growing on my mauritius tree that should ripen by the end of the summer, but needless to say there will only be 1 destination for any of those that make it to fruition.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:46AM
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phase0001(z10 CA)

LL, looks like I will have to wait until next year. I am sure your mauritius will taste even better than the store bought ones.

unfortunately the FL nurseries change ridiculous fees for trees shipped to CA. otherwise I would have ordered some more lychee trees.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 12:36PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

I find myself eating more and more of these at one sitting not because I'm enjoying them...but only to get rid of them faster! A few are just fine...still subpar. The rest should not have been sent to market or even plucked from the tree. These would certainly turn off a first-time lychee eater.

LL...I know your address. LOL!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 2:33PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

like, i would imagine, every fruit under the sun, there is a huge range in quality of tatste, between really good lychees, and mediocre lychees. I'm convinced that the majority of people who tasted good mauritius lychees would absolutely fall in love with the fruit. In my opinion, mauritius are an amazing tasting fruit, and taste better than brewster and hak ip, and obviously the as yet unamed tan olive turds that are currently being sold.

I have not yet tasted emperor or sweetheart so cant comment on thier tatstes as compared to mauritius.

Bottom line is, my advice is, if you want to taste lychees at their peak, buy some in Florida, or in china town between June 1 and June 10th.

Here is a pic of mauritius and another variety that is probably hak ip or sweetheart. The mauritius are the 2 bunches on the right of the picture. you will notice they have a pretty smooth skin and plenty of green speckling. (moments before being decimated by my wife and I.)

when i bought these back in june, the mauritus were selling for about $6 a pound and the other variety which had chicken tongues were selling for about $10-13 a pound. I preferred the mauritius.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 3:55PM
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phase0001(z10 CA)

LL, the left ones do not seem like sweetheart. according to lycheesonline Sweetheart is much larger than Mauritius.

Sweetheart = left, Mauritius = right

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 9:05PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

phase- where did u get that picture from?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:21PM
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phase0001(z10 CA)
    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:31PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Here is a basket of sweetheart lychees ordered from lycheesonline. This is the best lychee I had compared to all the lychees I ate in the supermarkets. It have a nice aroma and sweet taste. Some are real big...but some are small or medium. More small and medium than real big ones.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:13AM
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phase0001(z10 CA)

ch3rri, the sweetheart lychees look so nice! Hope my sweetheart tree will fruit next year. It's putting up a new growth flush right now.

Are the big ones as big as a golf ball (the one who sold me the tree claims so)?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:19AM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Yes, some were huge...I was shock too. Never seen a lychee that big before. It was almost double the size of the golf ball. You can see how big some of them are in the picture. But of course they didn't send me all huge one. The flavor was so good. I got a tree too, now sending out new growth. Hopefully I will get some fruit next year. I didn't get the tree from lycheesonline. I got it from Top Trop. They claim it's a mature/fruiting size tree. I'll share picture later.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 3:34AM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

I was under the impression from the pics at PIN and Lycheesonline that the fruit was much more red.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 6:51AM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

To my surprise too that the color was not fully red when I received them. But they are still sweet and full of flavor...much stronger lychee flavor than all the one I ate. Most or all were chick tongue seeds.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 11:03AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Ch3rri,

Thanks for posting those Sweetheart Lychee fruits. I have a young tree also, but have never seen or tasted the fruit yet...I expected the fruits to be a little redder, like the pics on Pine Island. Color doesn't matter as long as it tastes good... I'm glad you liked the taste and texture. Can't wait till mine gives me some fruits.

My daughter's co-worker brought some Lychees to work(Miami)she gave my daughter some, and she sent me a dozen(she knows I love them) she emailed me these pics. She's not sure what variety it was. They were excellent but the seeds were large...maybe a Brewster?? No idea...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:50PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

I think they are Brewster or Mauritius looking at the color and size. Very uniform sizes. They look so yummy. I can't wait to get some too.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:57PM
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lycheeluva(6/7)

pug- the lychees in your pic are almost definitly brewster. def not mauritius which are half red half green.
green coloration does not indicate less flavor. mauritius lychees are amazing and they are half green.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 1:22PM
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