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Selecting a Source for Your Fresh Lychee Fruit

by Krystal Folino & William Mee

  Go Local

If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a lychee grove nearby that is always the best place to get fresh, just-picked lychees. U-picks are getting more popular in south & central Florida and more growers are taking this route rather than going through the challenge and aggravation of getting their fruit commercially picked and packed. There may be some in your area. If you know someone with a lychee tree in their yard, the homeowner will usually sell you or maybe even give you some fruit.

A great place to get fresh lychees is at the store in our grove. We are open 7 days a week, all day long, during the fresh lychee fruit season (May - June) and by appointment the rest of the year. You can pick your own fruit if you want or relax in our air conditioned store sipping a cold glass of lychee ice tea while we provide the fruit for you. If you've never tasted a lychee before you can sample some of the different varieties before you buy.

Our store is located at 3141 SW 118th Terrace in Davie Florida. Click on the following link for directions: Get Directions

  Online

The Internet has a handful of websites advertising fresh seasonal lychee fruit. Most of these vendors are small growers like us who hand-care for their trees and fruit. Online lychee vendors usually ship the fruit to you within 24-48 hours. Contrary to what many lychee lovers think, the Internet is actually the best way to get the freshest lychee fruit aside from buying them from a local grower. You can go to our online store at: Buy Fruit Online

  Keep It in the Country

Avoid buying any lychees from Mexico, Taiwan, China & Israel or other growers outside the United States. Other countries that produce lychees don't subject growers to the same tough agricultural regulations that U.S. growers face. You have no idea what kinds of chemicals these foreign growers use to control pests, kill weeds, and preserve the picked fruit (sulfur dioxide in particular).

Not only is the issue of pesticides and preservatives a concern, but when you purchase fruit that competes directly with Florida farmers you are hastening the day when there will no longer be any fresh tropical fruit grown in South Florida. Besides the problem of devastating hurricanes, rising real estate values tempt growers to sell out to developers when they cannot get fair market value for their fruit.

  Specialty / Oriental Markets

Specialty markets can sometimes be a good source of fresh lychees, especially in very small quantities where the shipping cost of ordering on the Internet doesn't make sense. Don't buy the fruit on display in the market, unless it looks particularly fresh, as it may have been sitting in the store for a few days. Specialty markets usually buy their lychee fruit either locally or wholesale on the Internet so when the fruit arrives at the store it is still fresh.

Find out when the store will be receiving their lychees and go to the specialty store that day to buy yours. If the specialty store can't tell you when they will be getting fresh lychees try to get them to call you when they do. You can even try to place a special order with the market if you can't get your fresh lychees on the Internet.

  Stay Out of the Store

The worst place to get fresh lychees is at the local grocery store. The fruit at the grocery store may already be a week old. The lychee fruit has usually spent a few days finding it's way from the grower to the fruit packer to the grocery store's local distribution network and finally to the grocery store shelf for sale to the local consumer. Most produce buyers for grocery stores don't know a whole lot about tropical fruit and they buy the cheapest lychees rather than the highest quality fruit. If you want your lychees fresh, don't buy them from a grocery store.

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