(Litchi chinensis) begins around summer in May to June and runs till around August; this is when you start seeing an abundance of lychees being sold in the supermarket or online. He was thoroughly impressed with the ‘China Lychees’ he bought from NTUC during this period, so he thought why not splurge on premium lychees since we’re saving on dining out anyway. His research brought me to a speciality fruit store to find these seedless lychees, which go for a whopping S$60 per kg (around 10 times the price of the other common seasonal variety, Fei Zi Xiao). For the seedless Lychees surprisingly, the fruit-seller didn’t really know what varietal this lychee is called, but we do know it’s from Hainan, China. As with any seedless fruit, genetic modification or breeding must have played some part here. In this blog "Anim Agriculture Technology" I would like to share a report about the expensive seedless lychee in Singapore.Fast forward and here I am back home taking photos of these S$60 seedless lychees. I’ve to say the shell’s colour does look vibrant and very appetising. Peeling through the shell, He could tell that it didn’t spurt out as much juice on contact. The shell is pretty thin though making peeling an easy effort. Excitedly, he popped one seedless lychee into my mouth and true to description, there was no seed. It was fairly sweet and a novel experience, since with lychees you never really dare bite through the entire fruit in one go, having to navigate around the seed. But not for this! This was full chomping freedom. However, after some chewing, his tongue detected something bitter and not exactly resembling flesh. It was the top of the stem where the seed would have grown as circled above. This stem is technically soft enough to chew and swallow whole, but the mild bitterness was a stark contrast to the sweet flesh. he start to spat it out. Although seedless, it wasn’t what he imagined as being able to swallow the fruit whole due to the residual stem. He tried a few more lychees and pretty much all of them still have this little “stem” thing. Guess there’s still a limit to GMO. He still had a bag of Fei Zi Xiao lychees in the fridge, so he decided to compare them.
More often than not, you get the occasional spurt of juices just trying to pry open the thin shell of a Fei Zi Xiao lychee. A feature of the Fei Zi Xiao is its smaller seed compared to other common all-year varietals, although not completely seedless like the Hainan lychees previously. He have eaten these lychees multiple times so let’s get to the conclusion. Are seedless lychees worth it?. In terms of fragrance, sweetness, juiciness and price, the in-season Fei Zi Xiao lychees win hands down against seedless lychees without a doubt. It wasn’t even a close fight. Sure, there’s that novel element where you can pop the whole seedless lychee in your mouth without worrying about biting on a hard seed, but the small stem still proved to be an annoyance, just like its daylight robbery price tag. So there you have it, Hainan seedless lychees, at S$60 per kilogram, are in my opinion not worth the splurge. I’d rather buy 10kg of Fei Zi Xiao, or even a decent Wagyu steak at this price. Some extra information; I’ve been told that lychees taste best during the middle of the season, while the tail month ends won’t yield as sweet a fruit. Ideal months for buying lychee would hence be around June and July. Enjoy the lychee season while it lasts!. Thanks.