By Christy Piña

With a red, rough outer skin, a white, almost shiny surface beneath, and a sweet, slightly tart flavor, lychee is a certainly a unique fruit.

Native to China, lychee’s cultivation dates back as far as 2,000 BC, but it was first introduced to the West in the late 1700s. Its main production now takes place in China, followed by India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Mexico and parts of southern Africa.

According to an article published in the Pharmacognosy Review, lychee contains about 72 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, which is about 86 percent of the daily recommended intake. That same 100 grams of lychee also provides the body with small amounts of copper, phosphorous and potassium.

Lychee is not necessarily the easiest fruit to eat. Not only do you have to peel away the rough, leathery skin, but you should also remove the seed before eating. It may be hard to find fresh lychee at your local market, but canned lychee can be found in most grocery stores, especially your local Asian market.  If you would rather skip this process, you may be able to find lychee in martini form at your favorite cocktail bar. You can also give lychee ice cream or lychee bubble tea a try.