Do you know your Aussie lychees?
The most common variety is the Suey Tung. These tend to be more affordable than the others, not as sweet. How do you know they’re Suey Tung? They have an assymetrical teardrop shape, skin is rather flat and like a medium-fine grade sandpaper.
Fay Zee Siu. The most popular variety among the lychee family, famous for its tiny, slim seed - giving more flesh for buck. The skin is very coarse, with bumps and ridges, and usually has green and yellow mottling. Shapewise more symmetrical, and long. Early to mid season variety.
Baitangying. In a glance, these lychees look like the Suey Tungs, but the skin has a more pronounced pattern. Its overall shape is a rounder fruit.
Kaimana. The largest of the 4 varieties I trialled, I found the Kaimana to be crisp, juicy and delighful to eat. It had a stronger scent once cracked open. While the seed was bigger than the Fay Zee Siu, it’s plump rounded flesh and size almost like a medium strawberry made it satisfying to eat.
These are the early season lychee varieties available pre-Christmas. The Queensland lychee season runs up to March with different varieties available as the season progresses. These include the extra large Erdon Lee, the common Kwai Mai Pink, small seeded sweet juicy Salathiel, and crunchy Lin San Sue.