June is peak season for lychees in South Florida.
I have two words about that: f*** lychees.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Why such hatred of this inoffensive little fruit, you ask?
Lychees know what they did to me.
My beef began last Saturday when I went for my morning run around the Miccosukee Golf Course in Kendall (the most magical part of Miami). The sun was shining after weeks and weeks of gloomy skies and unseasonable rain.
I was six miles in and only half a mile away from a cold bottle of Powerade when my right foot twisted savagely. I hit the ground and screamed. As I writhed in pain, I looked back to see what caused my fall.
There was a single lychee on the sidewalk, smirking at me.
For those of you who have never seen a lychee, I present this photo so you can watch out for this dangerous fruit.
I know it looks inoffensive and sweet, like a tropical peach. But this fruit wants us all dead.
And aside from being a terrible tripping hazard, lychees are a terrible choking hazard. The fruit is about the size of a strawberry, but the rubbery texture requires way more chewing and could easily lodge itself in your trachea. I have no studies or data to support this statement, but I bet there are millions of unreported lychee choking deaths every year.
Lychees also reportedly caused unexplained outbreaks of encephalopathy in children in India and northern Vietnam. Yeah, that’s right. Lychees were straight up poisoning children. Those kids were obviously eating unripe lychees on empty bellies and were malnourished as well. But still.
The only real use anyone could possibly have for a lychee is to squeeze its juice into a lychee martini. Back in 2005, every bar in Miami had some variation of this sugary cocktail on the menu. We all drank it because no one really likes the taste of a martini. We just love how we look holding that stemware.
But to get six ounces of lychee juice, you essentially need to squeeze approximately 10,000 lychees, i.e., the contents of an entire tree. You can just go buy a can of lychee juice at Publix and save yourself the hassle.
Lychee mini season takes place now through mid-July in South Florida. The two varietals that are the most common in our area, Brewster and Mauritius, are all ripening and falling from trees like anvils in a Looney Toons cartoon. Take a drive through Kendall, and you will see homeowners selling piles of lychees roadside for the next few weeks.
Do yourself a favor and don’t stop. Mango season is coming soon. Mangoes would never hurt you.