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Chinese lychee shows it's a real tasty option

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-17 08:25
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SAN FRANCISCO - At a Guangdong lychee tasting and cocktail reception held recently in San Francisco, more than 100 guests from all walks of life attended the event, part of a global promotion campaign for Guangdong lychees.

In addition to promoting the fruit, the organizer provided 12 unique courses of dishes and drinks produced with lychees, enabling guests to fully appreciate the delicious taste and a sweeter side of China's culinary landscape. The event was not only a gathering to taste the native Chinese fruit while learning about its thousand years of influence on the nation's culture, but also an occasion to seek more economic and trade opportunities between China and the United States in the future.

"We have done a lot of experimentation and worked out these menus. All the invited foreigners were pleasantly surprised and loved our lychee dishes," says Theresa Lin, the event's host.

Lin, who once served as the food stylist for Ang Lee's Oscar-nominated movie, Eat Drink Man Woman, and the catering director for Life of Pi, mentions the famous Chinese poem that reads: "At a horse raising red dust the imperial concubine smiled; No one knew it was for the lychee fruit it had brought", and she expressed an ambition to publicize the fruit further.

"We are going to make a change to the poem. After our foreign friends have tasted the lychee, everyone knows that the delicious fruit was brought from Guangdong," she adds.

"It is a pleasure to taste lychees from Guangdong," says Kansen Chu, a board member of Berryessa Union School District in the Bay Area. He adds that the event is a good vehicle for people-to-people exchanges, which can help the province of Guangdong and the whole of China to develop agricultural business ties with the US.

Willie Brown, a former San Francisco mayor, also attended the event. He says he would put lychees on his menu, and the opportunity to do it here in California is good. "It is fabulous. And the sweetness, if you are into sweet things, comes without any of the negatives on the sugar side. It is really good," he says.

Frank Meerkamp, deputy chief technology officer of Ernst and Young, has been a big fan of the fruit and likes the lychee-inspired menu. "It's juicy. I was surprised by how good the chicken soup is with lychee. All the dishes were...tasty," he says.

Lychee, as an ingredient for cooking, is full of possibilities and can make a variety of dishes, says Martin Yan, a Chinese American chef and the host of the cooking show Yan Can Cook. "I call it the king of all fruits. There is lots of space for promotion and opportunities for business, so we work together to carry forward the best thing in China, (like) the best fruit, the lychee, to every corner of the world," he says.

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