Lychee has its origins in Southern China, where it was said that the ancient Imperial Courts were so fond of the fragrant, fleshy fruit that men on horseback were sent over 800 miles to retrieve it for the enjoyment of royal families. Today, lychee is cultivated in other subtropical climates around the world, including Hawaii. High heat, rainfall, and humidity combined with slightly acidic, nutrient rich volcanic soil make the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii ideal for growing this heavenly fruit. The medium-sized evergreen tree typically bears fruit once a year, during the months of May and June in Hawaii.
Mauna Kai Orchards grows Kaimana lychee exclusively. Kaimana is considered to be a premium cultivar which is a seedling selection of Haak Yip developed in the 1970's. Compared to other varieties, Kaimana lychee bears a larger, sweeter fruit and a smaller seed. Many are surprised to learn that fresh lychee tastes nothing like the canned fruit you may get in a grocery store. While hard to describe, some liken the taste to a cross between a strawberry and a grape, with a sweet flowery fragrance and delicious taste.
Lychee is also known for its outstanding nutritional benefits:
- Vitamin C: Lychee is loaded with Vitamin C. One serving (100g) provides 119% of the recommended daily value which supersedes that of citrus such as oranges and lemons. Vitamin C helps the body fight against infections and reduce inflammation.
- Antioxidants: Lychee has been found to contain unique quantities of antioxidant plant compounds including Rutin and Epicatechin. Studies indicate that these antioxidants may help protect against chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
- B-Complex Vitamins: Lychee is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and folates. These are essential to helping the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
We take great pride in growing, caring for, and producing high quality Kaimana lychee for you to enjoy. We currently handpick fresh lychee and ship by the pound within the Hawaiian islands. Click here to purchase your box!