Mangoes, lychees - the words roll off the tip of your tongue. The taste of these tropical fruits live up to their exotic names. The lychee tree produces oval-shaped fruit, approximately one inch wide, and covered with a reddish-brown skin. You need to peel off the bumpy skin, which is inedible, to get to the luscious, sweet fruit inside.
The lychee (Litchi chinensis) and its relatives are some of the finest fruit from South East Asia. Although closely related, the ecological requirements of the fruit differ. 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.
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