Fresh Lychee fruit in Montreal?
Can anyone tell me if lychee fruit from Thailand is available in Montreal right now? I have heard that Canada imports from Thailand and that the harvest is early in Thailand, since it is warmer there then in China. Urgent search!
You could call "Chez Nino" or "Chez Louis" at Jean Talon Market.
(googling for phone number is left as an exercise to the reader). :-)
ksnyder, you are correct - lychee season in the northern hemisphere starts in May, generally with the greener looking Mauritius varities. The best lychees with thicker fruit pulp, sweeter, more floral tasting and smaller seeds (like No Mai Chee and Hak Yip) come in late May into June. I agree with Vanierstudent and caramielle that the Asian markets are the best and cheapest places to buy fresh lychees. But some of the upscale supermarkets and specialty stores like 5 Saisons in Westmount also stock them, but they will cost you $$$ (maybe even $$$$), though I've seen them there even in the winter (imported from South America) and will cost $$$$$!
I am not sure where these lychee come from, but the best time to get cheap luscious inexpensive lychee is from Chinatown or from the big asian grocery stores in June and July. Then you can get a big bag of juicy lychee for about $8-10 and go to town on them all afternoon. The bag has many many lychee in them, and they are large and juicy and delicious.
The rest of the year, you have to pay a fortune, and hand choose them in the store. The tastiest ones I have had have been these juicy light pink lychees from Israel, but they are so expensive! Almost $10 for a small handpicked bag that has maybe 15 lychee in them. But they are really wonderful tasting, and very very juicy.
The rest of the year, it is hard to find really yummy lychee, they are often small and not completely ready to eat. And they are not worth the price.
The lychee season in the summer is fast, it only lasts about 4-6 week,s and by the end of July, they are often past their peak. There are years when I have missed the boat. Thanks for the reminder!
Fresh lychee has arrived! I'm not sure where they're from, but they are juicy, quite sweet, touch of sour, small seeds and greenish. Picked up some this evening at Kim Phat on Jarry for $2.99 /lb, also available by the case @ $60/10 KG. It can only get better in the weeks to come. Enjoy!