fruits33_letchis_-_credit_irt_-_serge_gelabert_dts_12_2018.jpgLetchisLetchis© SERGE GELABERT
© SERGE GELABERT

Lychee

REUNIONESE SWEETNESS

Lychees from Reunion were awarded the prestigious Label Rouge in December 2012, proof of the high quality of this produce: Reunionese lychees are juicier, more fragrant and sweeter. The lychee is a majestic tree that can reach 20m in height, with a voluminous crown of generally rounded shape. Cultivated for more than 4,000 years in China, it was introduced to Réunion in 1764 by Joseph François Charpentier de Cossigny de Palma. On the island, it’s called the letchi.

A fruit that is part of the culture

In Reunion, lychee orchards cover an area of around 500ha, producing some 8,000 tonnes of fruit. Lychee flowers are pollinated by bees – Apis mellifera unicolor – to produce lychee honey. The fruit, which ripens in December, is a delicacy prized by the islanders: lychees grace tables at Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations in Reunion.

Lychee’s health-giving properties

Guards against cardiovascular disease
Good for the skin
Good for the stomach
Effective against headaches