Not these lychees, though:
I bought these lychees from a grocery store on 6th Avenue a few months ago. Today, hungry, I opened the can and ate a few with a fork. They tasted fine—they suggested all the qualities that I love about real lychees, but it’s like comparing canned pineapple to real pineapple.
I experienced my first real lychees on the salad bar at the City Bakery. These are the ones I love: they’re already peeled and prepared and each one is like a burst of the exotic in your mouth. It’s so hard to describe the flavor of a fresh lychee: it tastes floral but it doesn’t overwhelm. And the texture is firm, like a grape, only meatier and juicier.
If I am to grow in my lychee knowledge, I should go to Chinatown and buy the real thing—learning how to prepare them myself. I’ve seen them in their raw state: they’re red and shelled. They look really interesting.
Based only on my experiences at The City Bakery, lychees are my favorite fruit–and they’re not even a fruit! A lychee is a nut. A nut with an identity crisis. If you haven’t had a lychee yet, please do so. They’ll rock your world.