Litchi nuts are not actually nuts. They’re considered a berry belonging to the soapberry family. You’ll notice the litchi has a hard, leathery skin, but it’s flesh is sweet, juicy and smooth–similar to rambutan or longan fruit.
Litchi nuts are hard to find as their season is very brief. Their harvest period is from May to June and you can find them at Sigona’s.
Here’s some tips to keep in mind:
- Good quality litchi will be firm, rough-skinned and have deep-red to brown colored skin.
- Avoid litchi that is soft, split or black.
- Fresh fruits can be stored at room temperature for up to 2-3 days and can be stored for up to five weeks in the refrigerator.
- To peel, cut an incision lengthwise all the way to the tip of the hard skin, being careful not to squirt the juice. Then peel away the skin and make another incision on the flesh to pull out the center seed.
Robbie Sigona is produce buyer for both the Redwood City and Palo Alto Sigona’s Farmers Market locations. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.