Top 10 Favorite Fruit

It’s finally here — the weather your mother warned you about. 

Like a stranger’s hot breath on your neck.  Like a wet dog creeping into bed.  You want desparately to push it away, but it’s useless.  You walk by the open shop doors and leeaaan into the air conditioning billowing out onto the street.  Looking up through the gray buildings, you can see thick fog sitting heavily on the tops of glossy green trees.  And then kind of a PTSD moment as you (I!) remember San Francisco fog and try to reconcile *this* fog with the 85-degree+ temperature.  How can it be this hot and also foggy?

Mercifully, this insane atmosphere brought something wonderful with it: fresh lychees.  If you’re like me, your familiarity with lychees is limited to the limp white fruit in heavy syrup one sometimes gets at shady-looking Chinese joints in someplace totally un-tropical, like New England.

Well, a fresh lychee is something totally different.  To start with, they are an amazing color.  It is the same hue as someone’s cheeks when they’re blushing.  But the color is much more intensely saturated.  And the fruits themselves come in bunches, like grapes, but they’re bigger, the size of a ping-pong ball.  They’re covered with a tough, spikey-hairy skin.  You cut through the skin and quickly find yourself with juice dripping down your arm.  The fruit is semi-translucent white and the flavor is intense.  It’s slightly acidic and also perfumey or slightly soapy, and it’s as sweet as a red grape or a white nectarine.  Really sweet.  Dead-on, unadulterated, hot and heavy sweet.  It’s the exact opposite of a supermarket strawberry.  It’s the antidote to the supermarket strawberry. 

Chinese freinds keep telling me not to eat so many — in Chinese medicine they’re a heating food.  Better to take something like watermelon (cooling) with red meat at a barbecue.  (Hey, I already knew that!)  But really, there’s no stopping once I start.  However many are there, I’ll eat them all, creating a great heap of scaly skins and smooth pits next to me.  Yes, I love lychee.  Maybe more than any other fruit.

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen, my Top 10 Favorite Fruit, revised for 2010:

  1. Lychees
  2. Apples
  3. Japanese persimmons (the crunchy kind)
  4. Mangos
  5. Dead-ripe Oregon blackberries
  6. White nectarines or peaches
  7. Apricots
  8. Comice pears
  9. Watermelon
  10. Pineapple

One Response to “Top 10 Favorite Fruit”

  1. bjs Says:

    Slurp…..You are an awesome writer!

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