Wednesday, July 25, 2012

lychee fruit

It's amazing how quickly abundance gets familiar. One day you are happily surprised and excited for options between baked or boiled potatoes, different colorful vegetable salads, bowls of fruit, a different theme for lunch each day. And then a week goes by, maybe two, and novelty wears into familiarity. But then today there were lychees piled onto the fruit bowl, fresh and prickly and rosy, and I was surprised and excited all over again.

Peeling the fruit with my eyes closed is like being at a round cement picnic table on the side of the road in South Africa, my cotton capris sticky with fruit juice. There is a net bag full of lychees, a blue tupperware bowl on the table for washing up in, and a few sticky, musky, seedy grenadines for my brother (I hate them). Delight at the surprise of exotic fruit, never heard of or tasted, amazement that still - in an age of shipping and greenhouses and preservatives - there are things I can't find in my local supermarket, things that other people across oceans eat like cheetos. Like apples. Lychees! Rose and gold nubby, scratchy skin and the white-white soft wet flesh around a warm brown stone. Peeled, they look like eyeballs, like the monster from Pan's Labyrinth, like pearls.

The stones are beautiful - I could use them for earrings, for nose plugs, for currency. Soft and dark and so smooth, but bitter if your tooth nicks one while you bite cleanly through the soft fruit surrounding.

Greedily, giddily, I ate a whole bowlful, peeling them slowly with my fingers, trying to see what they taste like. Like white wine? Like Asia? Like . . . sweet and a little strange and floral.


  1. I remember the round concrete picnic tables, the blue bowls the lychees, so refreshing and new. This post is worthy of the best of a foodie blog post award. cjs

    1. merci beaucoup, ma chere maman de qui j'ai apprendre tous.