Lychees are sometimes found on the the dessert menu of Chinese restaurants, but are becoming increasingly available at most supermarkets. Once stripped of their nobbly reddish brown shells, lychees look like large white grapes, each with a single large, glossy seed within its pale flesh. They have a sweet, flowery fragrance and flavour. Lychees are rich in vitamin C.

Select heavy, uncracked fruits with the stems still attached; the redder the shells, the fresher the lychees.

Unpeeled, the fruit can be stored for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

Serve whole lychees one at a time (they need to be peeled), or peel several and sprinkle with a little lime or lemon juice to heighten the flavour. They can also be cut up and combined with berries or other soft fruit. They can also be poached.