POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 15, 2011
Lychee and mango are the two much-anticipated seasonal summer fruit in Hawaii. But the unusual weather we’ve experienced has had its effect on these two luscious fruit.
Lychee is making its appearance at farmers markets and hopefully in supermarkets, too. This summer’s crop is not likely to be abundant, having started out early in areas such as Kona and later in Hilo and the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, where most of the commercial farms are located.
In a recent conversation with Candy Suiso of Makaha Mango Farm, I learned that mango flowering was late this year and in some instances has just begun. Fruit set has not been very good. We saw a spurt of mangoes from Maui early in the year but not since.
So cherish those mangoes and lychee this year and expect that prices will be dear.
Farmers markets will probably be your best bet for these fruit. Check the Made in Hawaii booth at the Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market on Saturdays.
You can prolong the lychee season by freezing them whole. Mangoes can be frozen, too, but they get mushy when defrosted and are best used for cooking and baking.
No doubt we’ll all be enjoying these fruit fresh when we find them!
Hawaii food writer Joan Namkoong offers a weekly tidbit on fresh seasonal products, many of them locally grown. Look for “Fresh Tips” every Wednesday in the Star-Advertiser.