Lychee, with its vibrant red exterior and delicate, sweet flesh, is a highly sought-after fruit that symbolizes summer in the Hawaiian islands. Its unique flavor and cultural significance make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. If you're planning a trip to Hawaii or simply interested in experiencing the delights of this tropical fruit, it's important to know when the lychee season occurs. In this article, we will explore the timing of lychee season in Hawaii, the varieties available, and where you can purchase this delectable fruit.
Lychee season in Hawaii is a time of vibrant flavors and tropical delights, where the succulent sweetness of this captivating fruit captures the essence of summer on the islands.
Lychee Varieties in Hawaii
- Kwai Mi: Known for its large size and exceptionally sweet flavor, Kwai Mi lychees (the first lychees introduced to the Islands) are a favorite among many enthusiasts.
- Groff: Groff lychees are highly aromatic and have a slightly tart taste. They are often sought after for their distinct flavor profile.
- Kaimana: Kaimana lychees are known for their small size and exceptional sweetness. They are considered one of the sweetest lychee varieties in Hawaii.
These varieties, among others, contribute to the diverse range of flavors and textures available to lychee lovers in Hawaii. Each variety may have a slightly different fruiting season, allowing for a prolonged period of enjoyment throughout the overall lychee season.
Lychee Season in Hawaii: May to September
The lychee season in Hawaii typically runs from May through September . During this time, the islands are blessed with ideal climatic conditions for lychee cultivation, resulting in the production of high-quality fruit. The season's peak occurs between late June and July, offering the optimal time to enjoy the freshest lychees Hawaii has to offer .
Where to Buy Lychees in Hawaii
If you're in Hawaii during lychee season, you'll be delighted to find an abundance of this delicious fruit in local grocery stores and farmers' markets. Here are a few places where you can buy fresh lychees:
- Local Grocery Stores: Many local grocery stores in Hawaii stock fresh lychees during the season. The average price for lychees is around $7 per pound .
- Farmers' Markets: Visiting farmers' markets is a great way to support local farmers and discover a variety of tropical fruits, including lychees. Check the schedules of farmers' markets in your area to find one near you.
- Kaye Family Farms: Kaye Family Farms, located on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, is known for producing exceptional lychees. They offer fresh lychee delivery directly to your door during the lychee season . However, please note that they do not accept special orders or allow farm visits due to active honey bees and insurance limitations.
Selecting and Storing Lychees
When selecting lychees, it's important to look for signs of freshness and ripeness. Here are some tips to help you choose the best lychees:
- Look for lychees with a vibrant red color and smooth scales on their skin. Avoid fruits with blemishes or dull coloration.
- Gently press the lychee; it should have a slight give when ripe.
- Prefer lychees that are still attached to the stem, as they tend to be fresher.
Once you've chosen your lychees, it's essential to store them properly to maintain their quality and flavor. Here are a few storage recommendations :
- Lychees can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks in a damp paper bag to prevent them from drying out.
- If you want to enjoy lychees beyond the season, they can be frozen for up to three months. Simply peel and deseed the lychees before freezing them.
Kaye Family Farms: The Lychee Specialists
Kaye Family Farms, run by a single mom and her three teenagers, is renowned for producing some of the biggest and sweetest lychees in Hawaii. With a 28-acre farm on the Big Island, they utilize traditional and current agricultural practices to ensure a consistent and reliable product .
Here are some key details about Kaye Family Farms and their lychee offerings:
- Orders can be placed online during the lychee season, typically between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
- The farm announces the start of the lychee season through their Facebook Page, so be sure to follow them to stay updated.
- New inventory is usually posted every Friday at noon, allowing customers to select their preferred quantity.
- All orders are processed through the farm's website, providing a convenient and hassle-free experience.
Kaye Family Farms is committed to delivering the freshest lychees directly to customers, ensuring a delightful experience for lychee enthusiasts across Hawaii.
Lychee season in Hawaii spans from May to September, offering a delectable tropical fruit that is synonymous with summer on the islands. The availability of different lychee varieties adds excitement and variety to the experience, allowing consumers to explore a range of flavors and textures. Whether you choose to purchase lychees from local grocery stores, farmers' markets, or specialty farms like Kaye Family Farms, you can indulge in the sweetness and uniqueness of this captivating fruit.
Remember to select ripe lychees with vibrant red skin, store them properly, and enjoy their delicate flavor within the recommended time frame. So, plan your visit to Hawaii during the lychee season, and savor the taste of this delightful fruit that represents the essence of Hawaiian summers.