Filed Under (General) by Rob on 05-01-2008

I was delighted to find some of these for sale in a supermarket down the road a few days before Christmas:


They are lychees, which are not grown in Benin, but imported (like apples or baked beans). I first got hooked on lychees when living in Réunion Island – there you can eat ’em straight off the tree. Yum! Don’t think the ones you have for dessert in a chinese restaurant have anything to do with the succulent, flavoursome real thing, which has three parts to it: (i) a rough, hard, but increadibly thin outer shell (NB don’t try eating this bit – just peel it off), (ii) the white, juicy flesh and (iii) a smooth, brown torpedo-shaped stone (also discard!)

As lychee season is December in most places, I always associate them with Christmas, and used to buy a pound or so at Tescos each year. However, this is the first time I’ve found them in Benin. Yippee!

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