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Author Topic: What is the best lychee?  (Read 42120 times)

FloridaGreenMan

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What is the best lychee?
« on: February 03, 2012, 09:32:09 PM »
What is the best tasting lychee? The best I have ever tasted are also among the hardest to grow. They are the Emperor and the Haa-Kip. Mauritius is probably the easiest to grow and fruit in South Florida but which ones are you folks growing in Florida and all over the US? How many outside of Florida on the mainland US have fruited Lychee?  The photo shows some gorgeous Emperors grown in Palm Beach County FL. They were fantastic!
       

 





FloridaGreenMan

HMHausman

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 09:38:31 PM »
After this last season, I have begun to say that the best lychee is the one that is just at peak of ripeness and ready to eat.  Each variety has something good to be said about it.  There is some variability from year to year, but for my money, my two favorites are Kaimana and Garnet.

Harry
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bsbullie

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 09:43:54 PM »
I will have to agree in general to what Harry said which can vary from year to tear.  If comparing a "perfect" specimen, I would have to go with Hak Ip.  My least favorite is Sweet Cliff.  While I like a well ripened longan, I am not that crazy about the blending flavors of the two with the Sweet Cliff.  When I want a lychee, I want a lychee, when I want a longan, I want a longan.
- Rob

Squam256

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 09:46:23 PM »
I like Kaimana and Early Large Red.  Not a fan of Ha Kip, don't like the aftertaste it has.

Tropicalgrower89

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 09:50:37 PM »
Pantin and Pace are really good varieties.











Whoops. This ain't a mamey thread..  ;D       ;)










I've eaten longans. But I'd never ate a lychee before.  :(
Alexi

bsbullie

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2012, 09:55:56 PM »
Pantin and Pace are really good varieties.

Whoops. This ain't a mamey thread..  ;D       ;)

I've eaten longans. But I'd never ate a lychee before.  :(
Please turn over your tropical fruit man card...I also believe you have just been placed on "tropicalfruitforum suspension".  No more mameys for you.  You mission/goal is to be sure to try every variety of ripe lychee available come June/July.  That will probably mean you will have to beg, borrow and bribe some forum members  ;D
- Rob

Tropicalgrower89

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 09:58:34 PM »
Pantin and Pace are really good varieties.

Whoops. This ain't a mamey thread..  ;D       ;)

I've eaten longans. But I'd never ate a lychee before.  :(
Please turn over your tropical fruit man card...I also believe you have just been placed on "tropicalfruitforum suspension".  No more mameys for you.  You mission/goal is to be sure to try every variety of ripe lychee available come June/July.  That will probably mean you will have to beg, borrow and bribe some forum members  ;D

lol  ;D 
Alexi

bsbullie

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 09:59:04 PM »
I like Kaimana and Early Large Red.  Not a fan of Ha Kip, don't like the aftertaste it has.
I have heard some people talk of an after taste with the Hak Ip but I have not noticed it.  I would like to compare a well ripened Hak Ip to a well ripened Sweetheart.  I may also have to visit Harry for some of the "off" varieties I have not tasted.
- Rob

Squam256

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 10:17:39 PM »
I like Kaimana and Early Large Red.  Not a fan of Ha Kip, don't like the aftertaste it has.
I have heard some people talk of an after taste with the Hak Ip but I have not noticed it.  I would like to compare a well ripened Hak Ip to a well ripened Sweetheart.  I may also have to visit Harry for some of the "off" varieties I have not tasted.

Every Ha Kip I've had, regardless of where it was grown, had that "aftertaste". Maybe the wrong term but that's the best word I can think of to describe it. Sweetheart on the other hand I like.

Calcutta is another lychee I liked a lot. I do enjoy eating huge amounts of cheap Mauritius and Brewster in the summer though.....got them for $1.50/pound last year  :D

johnb51

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 11:01:39 PM »
Why is Emperor hardest to grow? ???
John

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 11:30:05 PM »
Why is Emperor hardest to grow? ???

Mostly because it doesn't. Or rather, grows extremely slowly. Seems to do particularly poorly in muck soils and is a poor producer. I think its kind of mediocre tasting actually. It does produce very large fruit though.

bsbullie

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 11:44:41 PM »
Why is Emperor hardest to grow? ???

Mostly because it doesn't. Or rather, grows extremely slowly. Seems to do particularly poorly in muck soils and is a poor producer. I think its kind of mediocre tasting actually. It does produce very large fruit though.
I agree with squam.  With all the available varieties, Emporer wold not crack "the list" of go to lychees.
- Rob

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2012, 12:34:34 AM »
My favorites are #1: Kwai Mi Pink (Bosworth-3), close #2: Kaimana, #3: Brewster. But i've not yet eaten what are considered the best ychees in China: No Mai Tze and Hanging Green. Have both of these but don't know if they'll fruit here, they like it cooler. My least favorite is Groff.
Oscar
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zands

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2012, 02:29:16 AM »
All I know is lychees are always so expensive in the store compared to mangoes. $4.00/lb is the least expensive I have seen while you can luck out with decent Florida grown mangoes @$1.00 each. Plus you can buy backyard mangoes or get donations from neighbors. Lychees trees in back yards are far less common even though they are usually mentioned along with mangoes in this forum. So I better plant the Brewster lychee I have sitting in a pot

BMc

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 05:25:28 AM »
Salathiel. Great taste and 100% chicken tongue seeds. After that maybe a fully ripened Tai So - they take so long they rarely get to that stage. My favourite to grow is the B-3, hands down most reliable and prolific here.

lycheeluva

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2012, 06:24:35 AM »
i just got out of surgery last night for a fractured thumb but it would be blasphemous for lycheeluva not to quicly respond to this thread. fact, a little blasphemos for lycheeluva not to have started this post.  i have only eaten 4 lychees in large quantities and they are mauritius, brewster, hak ip, and sweet cliff. out of those, as ive repeated like a broken record, mauritius is far and away my fave. after that , i liked sweet cliff, then brewster then hak ip. at harry's place, i bought a few pounds of early red which were very similar to mauritius and nearly as good. i also tried bengal which didnt move me. ive also tied one or two emperor which lived up to their reputation as being big but not especially flavorful. ive tried some unlabelled lychees in china town which looked like sweetheart but not sure if they were- those didnt impress me either.
for now mauritius for mr, by a long shot.

BMc

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2012, 07:28:45 AM »
No Mai Chi is the other one that I'll pay the extra $2 per kilo for. Similar to Salathiel, maybe a bit better.

HMHausman

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2012, 08:24:50 AM »
I have yet to try Calcutta, Groff, Salathiel, Hanging Green (well, not sure about this one as I did try a green skinned variety in NY's chinatown.....it was not a very good lychee and so, based on the reputation of this storied cultivar I am assuming that either it wasn't Hanging Greeen or was not truly representative of it), No Mai Tze, Yai So or B-3.  Have tried to grow No Mai Tze, but never got a tree to any size before untimely death. My current fruiting trees include Brewster, Mauritius, Kaimana, Kwai Mai Pink (Bosworth 3), Bengal, Hak Ip, Early Large Red, Garnet, Peerless, Ohia, and Farwell Ranch (probably Mauritius seedling) Also growing but have never fruited Seymour, Red Ohia, and I am still going to throw Sweeheart into this category.  My trees have technically fruited but poorly and not in a way that has been represetative of their reputation (possibly read "hype).  This cultivar is on double secret probation at my house. I have had a large fruiting Emperor.....but it died loaded with fruit one year.......I assume at the hands of some root destroying pathogen based upon how the fruit and leaves never dropped as the tree died.

My additional taste/flavor comments are:  Kwai Mai Pink......excellent flavor but my trees lack vigor.  Ohia........excellent last year, better than I ever remembered previously.  Bengal......large fruit....equally large seed......good flavor, very prolific year in and year out.  Mauritius......was really excellent last year.......can fall from excellent to the very good category in some years, but if you like a bit of tart along with your sweet, this is one to consider.  Peerless....a probable Brewster seedling.....similar to Brewster....but more consistant crops.  Early Large Red...not sure of the heritage.  Tends to be similar to Mauritius....also a consistant bearer.  Hak Ip.......great lychee for those that like the strong, somewhat medicinal taste of lychee.  I do get that after taste referred to by Squam.  The size of the fruit, smallness of the seed and consistant production makes me over look this after taste. Kaimana is large fruited, generally small seeded with a very unique floral flavor.  Was a bit off this last year in taste and more so in production but usually is a consistant bearer at my house. With regard to Emperor.....when my tree was fruiting, it was doing so heavily and consistantly.  The taste of the fruit does tend to be somewhat more bland than other cultivars.  But, the sheer size of the fruit and its late season (consistantly the last lychees of the season at my house) makes this a must have.

Harry
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fruitlovers

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2012, 04:56:13 PM »
Salathiel. Great taste and 100% chicken tongue seeds. After that maybe a fully ripened Tai So - they take so long they rarely get to that stage. My favourite to grow is the B-3, hands down most reliable and prolific here.

B-3 (Kwai Mi Pink) is also the most reliable bearing here also, even more reliable than Kaimana, which was developed here. I have Salathiel but that cultivar does not fruit at all here. Needs cooler climate, not well adapted to tropics.
Oscar
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lycheeluva

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2012, 05:29:19 PM »
harry they sell those green lychees every year in NY china town and they are always unedible- so very much doubt they are the fabled  hanging green, or if they are, they must get treated with a chemical to allow export to the  US that absolutely kills taste. they also sell  a red lychee in china town every year that looks like a large sweet cliff (but isnt), that is also terrible. those r the only 2 varieties of lychee that are actually unpleasant.  will try and investigate their variety this summer
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 09:50:49 PM by lycheeluva »

Jsvand5

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2012, 08:07:19 PM »
I really liked the Ohia and the Farwell ranch that I had at Harry's place. Those were my two favorites last season. For some reason I was not a huge fan of the Kaimana.

Emperor is my least favorite. Tasted bad enough to me that I gave away my tree and threw the fruit in the trash.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 08:26:58 PM by Jsvand5 »

fruitlovers

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2012, 08:13:15 PM »
The lychee varieties i have planted are: Kwai mi pink (also called Bosworth 3), Kaimana, Salathiel, Wai Chee, Groff, Kwai Mi, Emperor, Bengal, Ohia, Yellow Red, Hanging Green, No Mai Tze, Amboina,  and Sweetheart.
Of these i've only tasted B3, Kaimana, Groff, Kwai Mi, Emperor, and Bengal. I also tasted Calcutta, which is nice because it is super late bearing, so offseason.
Oscar
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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2012, 09:34:33 AM »
So far my favorite types tasted have been Ohia, Hak Ip, Kaimana and Farwell Ranch. Although to be honest, I have never had a lychee I did not like just some types that I enjoyed more then others... :)  I currently have Ohia, Hak Ip, Brewster, Emperor, Sweetheart and Mauritius trees planted in my yard.   
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 10:41:59 AM by SWRancher »

fruitlovers

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2012, 12:38:30 AM »
So far my favorite types tasted have been Ohia, Hak Ip, Kaimana and Farwell Ranch. Although to be honest, I have never had a lychee I did not like just some types that a enjoyed more then others... :)  I currently have Ohia, Hak Ip, Brewster, Emperor, Sweetheart and Mauritius trees planted in my yard.   

Yeah, i agree, fresh lychees off the tree are all good. But some are gooder, and then there are the goodest kinds!  :)  Bought a bag of lychees from Whole Foods once in S. Cal. and they were pretty darned horrible.
Oscar
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mangomandan

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Re: What is the best lychee?
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2012, 12:13:15 PM »
I've been happy with my Brewster (likewise the neighbors, the mail carrier, the garbage pick-up guys....)    But it would be nice to have a lychee with a better ratio of fruit to seed.
Any suggestions for good tasting lychees with chicken lip seeds?

 

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